I’ll Tell You Who’s An Everyday Hero…

This week my girls’ Catholic elementary school is hosting their annual Spirit Week.  It’s five straight days of themed outfits.  Five days of no uniform. Five days where the kids get to express themselves (within reason) and wear their class colors, or crazy hair, or pajamas or sports jerseys. Five days that are extremely coveted by my uniform-wearing free spirits.


Today’s theme is “Everyday Heroes.”  The kids are supposed to dress like uh, everyday heroes, but not celebs or sport stars. Fine with me. Sounds good. Doctors, nurses, firemen, garbage men, police, gardeners, mailmen, flight attendants, Starbucks barista…okay maybe that’s one of my everyday heroes.

You get the idea.

Sounds simple enough. Sure. Until you throw a moody 5-year-old girl and a stubborn 7-year-old into the mix. Then you know what happens? All hell breaks loose and the quest to figure out what friggin’ everyday hero to be turns into a screaming bloodbath where the three chicks in the house are left sobbing and stomping and seething.

“Do you wanna be a veterinarian Phoebes? We have that Pet Vet kit and you could even carry a stuffed dog to school?”

“Do you wanna be Dr. Marna (our pediatrician) Claire? You could wear a stethoscope and we could even buy you a white coat?”

“Do you wanna be a teacher and you could carry around a clipboard?”

Yep. They both wanted to be teachers. And not just any teachers. THEIR teachers. And they wanted to dye their hair brown and black and wear it like their teachers would and they wanted to wear clothes JUST like their teachers wear but we didn’t have any of those kind of clothes and boy, did that make Phoebe mad. And how could they look just like their teachers if we didn’t have the stuff to make them look just like their teachers??!!!

“It’s not about looking like YOUR teachers,” I begged. “It’s just about being ANY teacher!”

They didn’t buy it.

I threatened that if they didn’t pull it together, I would force them to go to school in their uniforms. Or worse yet, I would force them to be another kind of everyday hero.

Last night ended with both girls crying and pleading with their daddy to “Please don’t let mama make us be anything else.”

I woke up this morning refreshed and ready to make them the best damn teacher heroes ever. I cut out some apples from some old stationary and  thought they could wear a name tag with an apple glued on it. I cut out cardboard to make Phoebe a make-shift clipboard. Claire already had one from playing school around the house.

The girls woke up. I was cheery and ready. I showed Phoebes her clipboard. She smiled. I helped her pick out a proper teacher outfit. She smiled. I told her about the name tag idea with the apple. She wasn’t thrilled about it.

“Apples? What do apples have to do with being a teacher?” she asked.

“Teachers love apples,” I said.


“Just because. Students like to give teachers apples for gifts,” I answered.


“Because they just do, okay?”

“Can I give my teachers apples today?”

“Yes, of course you can.”

Everything was cruising along just fine until the girls asked me to make them an attendance chart on their make-shift clipboards. The lines weren’t straight enough. There weren’t enough lines. I wanted them to write their own stuff on it.  Phoebes wanted me to write for her because my writing is neater.  Problem after problem after complaint after whining after…..

…well, that’s how it felt to me.

“Why can’t they be like other kids?” I asked my husband while making their sandwiches in the kitchen. “Other kids are probably like ‘Great idea Mom! I love the clipboard you made for me. How lucky I am to have you as my mom.’ Can’t our kids be like that just ONCE in a while?”

“Really honey?” my man asked. “Really? You really think that’s how other kids behave?”

“Yes! Yes, I do!” I said. “I’m positive that’s how other kids behave! They talk nicely to their mom and with respect!”

My husband remained silently supportive through my tirade. As he most always does.

I’m not sure how I got through last night and this morning with this everyday hero drama swirling but I did. My girls hopped into the van with smiles on their faces, cardboard clipboards with attached pencils tied with string, no teacher name tags, and all tears a distant memory.

I closed the door behind them feeling a little unsure as to whether the battle was won. It more felt like the battle was just over. For now.

Spirit week my ass.

I’ll tell you who’s an everyday hero – I AM.

Damn straight.


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Thanks friends! Hope you’re having a heroic day!

4 Responses to “I’ll Tell You Who’s An Everyday Hero…”

  1. Jo says:

    Go immediately to your e-mail account, send the school a note demanding that “everyday hero” be removed from spirit week and threaten to boycott spirit week if they don’t put something easy in its place!

  2. Ash says:

    DAMN straight!

    And thanks for the laugh-out-loud moment of thinking all the other kids are appreciative. What do they put in your water out there?

    I was welcomed home yesterday with this:

    Daddy: “Youngest, didn’t you miss Mama?”

    Youngest: Tearing himself away from Toy Story “sorta”

    Me: making a mental note to leave for a week next time.

    Good luck with the rest of the week. If it makes any difference, you’re my hero 🙂

  3. Amy says:

    OK, that is absolutely hilarious. I couldn’t agree more with the “dress-up” days. Are they meant to torment us? Because they do.

    Thank you God for uniforms! I think there would be many wars going on in our household if G could wear what she wanted everyday. I appreciate them all the more when we have a “dress up” day.

    I think one of your girls should have selected to go as you!

  4. Karen says:

    Love it! Did they dye their hair? If you got by without that then you are the hero!

    Also, there is absolutely NEVER any disrespect of mama in my house. How can you live like that, Lee? 🙂

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