In Day #61- Community of Understanding I wrote about the community of people that surround our children and how it would behoove us to teach all of them about the spectrum. This way, bus drivers would know why a child misbehaves or has a melt-down when it’s too loud; cafeteria staff would understand why raw vegetables are just as important as cooked; study hall supervisors would recognize the true value of movement to stay focused.
Today though? Today I want to pay homage to a special person in our school. Our Secretary, Pam.
I have been to and worked in schools for the majority of my life. In that time I have never EVER had a bad experience with a school secretary and let me tell you, I don’t know how these people do this job. Every Secretary I know has a great smile, personality, and sense of humor. There are two secretaries at Tucker’s middle school and they are both phenomenal. Last fall I was waiting for a meeting to begin and I just sat watching them, in awe. Answering phones, directing kids, dealing with deliveries, writing passes, recording attendance – talk about multi-taskers…these ladies are the experts!
So, it’s obvious I think School Secretaries are the bomb, but let me tell you about Pam.
About two months ago Tucker forgot his CO2 car at home. He asked me to go home and get it, so of course I did – it was race day!
I ran a couple of other errands because I knew he wouldn’t need it right away. When I arrived at the school Pam greeted me (like she always does). I told her about forgetting the car and if she could just let Tucker know it was here that would be great. I also sent him an email so I knew he would get the message a couple of different ways.
Pam says to me, “Oh. We had several kiddos forget those today! You can just leave it (I started to walk out)…no. No, wait. I know that will be on Tucker’s mind. I know he’ll worry about that until he sees it here. Let me call him down here so he knows right away.” While we waited we talked about my training for the 1/2 marathon and Tucker having the opportunity to see a concert. She asks me to send her the link to the donation website.
I know…this doesn’t seem like a huge deal. But it is. It is because she gets Tucker. It is because she cares about him. Most of all, it is because it isn’t part of her ‘job.’ She doesn’t HAVE to understand what makes him unique or really even care about uniqueness…but she does. She does it without being asked or told.
I’ll always remember that moment and I was reminded to write about it after another encounter with her today. Tucker wasn’t feeling well so I took some Dayquil to school. She called him to the office so he could get it directly from me (again, she could have just told me to leave it with the nurse…but she ‘gets’ him). In he comes. He takes the Dayquil and says thank you. He tells me that he hopes my neck gets ‘fixed’ at the chiropractor (it’s been a rough couple of days). Then…then he hugs me, kisses me on the forehead, and walks out the door.
She looks at me and says, “Really – he’s such a great kid.”
She has NO idea what that meant.
After I picked Tucker up from school I told him what she said about him. He said, ‘You know mom, she’s just that kind of lady. I feel like she’s always looking out for me and other kids…but for me? It’s like she always sees the best. She always smiles at me. She always says hi. So I think she’s also a great…um…what is she again?”
I told him she was a secretary, but we should come up with a better word – because she’s MUCH MUCH more than a secretary. He agreed.
This world needs more people like Pam. More people who smile even though they aren’t feeling the greatest and their job is dealing with multi-tasking insanity. Our schools need more people like Pam. More people who work at ‘getting’ kids, for the sake of ‘getting.’ Our family needs more people like Pam. More people who will not only love, but who will work to understand.
I can’t wait to tell him that she also made an online donation. I guess we’ll have plenty of time on the way to Nashville to work on Pam’s special ‘occupation word.’ When we get it figured out, we’ll let you know