Sunday, January 14, 2007

I Know My Mom Keeps a Lot Locked Up Inside Her, But . . .

After twenty-seven years working in an elementary school cafeteria, most of it as the boss, my mom's retiring in a couple of weeks. Almost three decades dealing with miniature pseudo-humans and all of their dysfunctions, and coping with their sometimes less mature parents, and it's down to nine working days.

Of course, Mom doesn't see it that way. She likes the kids. That's the best part of her job. There have been bad spots, but she also has almost three decades of good kids, the ones who thank her, the ones who give her little gifts and don't whine, and whose parents don't blame her for their failure to PAY FOR THEIR CROTCH-FRUIT'S MEALS. I'm a little more touchy about people being mean to my mom than she is. She thinks of the good things, even if she's uneasy about someone new taking over her kitchen.

She also has a lot of co-workers, past and present, that she'll miss seeing every day. One of those, a fourth-grade teacher, had her class write my mom cards. They were drawn in crayon on white paper, and displayed a range of ability with words and drawing. Even the ones scribbled out like form letters were cute and touching.

I'm not one to make fun of people (quiet . . . ), but sometimes mistakes are made (thank you, Charles Baxter) and they can be funny. One girl wrote a card that included the following:

"Thank you for serving our lunch and Preparing our lunch. Your a great prison."

That made my day. How does a kid spell "preparing" correctly but not "person?" Amazing. And funny.

I agree. Mom's a great person. And she 's never locked me up that I can recall. If she has, it's been years. No matter how much I've deserved it.

Mom and me on my wedding day.

Congratulations, Mom!


Anonymous said...

I love that note! What are some of the other cute ones?

Anonymous said...

Big congrats to your mom, Jason! I was always a brown-bag kid, but having worked behind the counter at Cafe Latte on Grand Avenue, I do understand something about how people behave in a cafeteria - I've seen adults do things kids never would have done in a school cafeteria. But it helped me too realize how I must always try to be a better prison.

Just This Girl said...

Awwwww. That was solid gold. Kid stuff is funny... especially when they try so hard and fail. HA! Ha ha!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to your mom! And to you, for making me snort in the office over the word "crotch-fruit." Sweet lord.

Jason said...

Most of the comments expressed gratitude that she remembered their names. Others made sure she knew their favorite lunches--hot dogs and "Italian dunckers." Heh.

Mike said...

Congrats to Mrs. B. She deserves all the best. Just one thing, and maybe it is becuz I am a bit slow, crotch fruit is something that made me piss myself even though I am not exactly sure that it is.