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Needed To Be Mom
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To the one family or cluster of kids whose picture I missed taking for the newspaper on the first day of school, please accept my apology.

Some days in this job, I need to pause from what’s expected and report to my first and most important job – Mom.

So last Wednesday as our streets became busy and school sites filled with parents, I followed suit. I left my camera at my desk and reported to our school site just like all the other moms, dads, grandparents and loved ones dropping their babies off for the first day of school.

I’m ‘that’ mom. No, not the one sharing photos of myself rejoicing as I leave my kids at school or celebrating over Bloody Mary’s with girlfriends. I was once and I know I will be again. In this moment, however, I’m just trying to grasp the reality of how quickly this gig passes and the moments we are blessed to have.

Adulting/parenting is tough. It’s hard, like no hard you can ever accurately prepare for. It’s also the most gratifying experience I have ever been blessed with.

As I’ve watched friends attend graduations of their own ‘babies’, agonize over driver’s license tests and college choices, I’ve been awakened to the fragility of these moments.

Last Wednesday marked the last day my son will sit at a desk on the first day with a name card. The same boy I just walked into Kindergarten in 2010. It’s all very daunting really and while I love watching them grow, become independent and all that ‘stuff’ it’s also hard.

So Wednesday morning as I traveled to work, I thought about all the parents doing the same at the varying school sites and grade levels. Then, oddly, I thought of the summer blockbuster movie ‘Bad Moms,’ which I happened to watch a few weeks back.

In short, it was both relatable as well as entertaining. One girlfriend actually made note of it as we navigated the halls Wednesday morning, escorting our sixth graders ... one last time.

I will interject here that I do recognize my good fortune in having a child ‘allow’ me to see him to class and actually hug him before leaving. I live for those innocent and memorable moments.

As for the ‘Bad Moms’ blockbuster, in truth, when I came away from viewing it, I felt ‘Real Moms’ might have suited it best as a title. Oh sure, the previews give it a specific slant and that drives us all to the theater.

When it ended, however, and as I drove home, I reflected on the varying personality types at our campus as well as others. We don’t all do this the same. Some of us like a nice beverage at the end of our day. Some of us like to be on campus as much as possible and some of us are just trying to get our kids there on time before reporting to the place which pays our bills.

Regardless of what ‘camp’ or mindset fits any of us as a mom, what I realized last Wednesday is that we each report on the first day of school with the same prayer or hope, if that suits you better.

We show up hoping that our student thrives, that they find their way, that they are kind and courteous and genuinely good humans. Then as we return to our car, or begin our walk home we simply wish the same for ourselves or we head off to meet friends and cry/toast over a Bloody Mary. There’s no judgement here.

Regardless of your camp, make no mistake we ... the ‘real moms’ … know we don’t have the answers and spend a lot of time pondering the questions. When all is said and done we all hold hope.

Happy 2016-17 school year Real Moms, dads and those who love our cargo. Stay mindful, stay hopeful and know you are far from alone … we got this.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.