A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2019. 

David and Mary / This week was Teacher Appreciation Week. I sent these two off to school with irises, roses and one peony each, paltry gestures of my overwhelming gratitude for the teachers that care for my kids every day.

I read once that the best thing you can do to support a teacher is to send a child to school who is well-rested, prepared, and ready to learn. I can do that, and spare a peony as well.


Thomas and Anna / Once the big kids are on the bus I’m once again a mom of babies. These two are equal parts mischief and sweetness and driving up our water bill.



  1. Gayle Ann May 12, 2019

    My mother stopped teaching before Teacher Appreciation Day was a thing. But, as Mother’s Day is tomorrow…. she taught special education, K-12, for 36 years, and then adults in prison, in a 40 some year career. Then, kids in special ed were not treated well. They weren’t included in the prom or other such things. She did a lot of extra things, especially as her kids tended to be very low income. She could do almost anything with a NESCO roaster and electric skillet, and worked a Thanksgiving Dinner into teaching about it. As all the kids were put into one class, she had many students for all 4 years of elementary school, and a few for 8 when she went to the middle school. the last few years.

    During one of the special food event things, a Thanksgiving, my grandmother came to help her get everything together. She introduced my grandmother, appropriately, as her mother. The one little girl’s eyes got really big, and she said, in total shock, “YOU have a MOTHER?” My mother was still chuckling when she got home that day. Apparently, the girl kept staring at my grandmother in total awe and disbelief the entire afternoon. Kids see everything, including teachers, through a totally different lense.

    • amandakrieger May 13, 2019

      yes, kids do see everything through a different lens! it’s wonderful and innocent, isn’t it?
      i love this story, your mother sounds like a phenomenal teacher and mother.

      • Gayle Ann May 13, 2019

        The sad thing is, today, she wouldn’t be allowed to do most of what she did.

        She also tended to have siblings. One family was very poor. The kids came to school filthy, and were ridiculed for smelling. She washed their hair each week, gave them sponge baths, and clothed them. Her classroom was self contained, with a large sink, and its own lavatory. She had 2 of the three kids. They changed each morning, and in the afternoon, just before classes ended. We had no boys in our family, so she had to purchase clothing for him, and shoes, boots, etc. It was before free breakfast, so she also fed them in the morning.

        She did a lot with food. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and coloring Easter Eggs. She tried to work food into a program whenever possible. Green eggs and ham, Valentine’s Day spaghetti, birthday cakes for each child who couldn’t afford one, etc. She tried to work food in whenever possible. She kept a toaster, electric skillet, and electric coffee pot for boiling water, which made instant oatmeal.

        She also watched sales, and gave each kid a welcome back to school bag, with crayons, glue, etc.

        But, today…. food isn’t allowed, and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t be allowed to bathe them or clothe them. Or that she would want to for fear of being accused of abuse. One can’t even hug a child anymore.

        I don’t think teaching was ever easy, but, I think it has grown harder, as more and more restrictions are placed on them, and they are given more and more responsibilities.


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