Parent Teacher Conferences

By a show of hands…who cried at their latest parent/teacher conference?  Yes, that’s right: CRIED.  Anyone?  Anyone?? 

Can you see ME?  Can you see how my hand is raised high above my head?!?  It’s waving.  WAVING!

Because, yes.  I cried at my daughter’s most recent parent/teacher conference.  All three of them in fact.  Apparently, I am a total embarrassment to Seventh Graders everywhere, including her.

Picture it.  We’re all in the gymnasium together – us and about fifty other parents and students ranging from fifth through eighth grades.  The teachers are seated behind card tables pushed up along the walls.  Looking like they have pay-to-play chess games going on. 

The parents and students sit or stand in some Disneyland waiting line where it’s never quite clear how far, exactly, you are from the front.  So you just shuffle your winding way through until you arrive at the boarding area.

Once seated, we strap in and prepare for the ride.

It all starts with my daughter’s Literature teacher.  He goes through this whole spiel about how she’s a great student and he enjoys having her in his class.  She has great answers and viewpoints.  And he just wants us to know she’s a very kind and kind-hearted young lady. 

Insert waterworks here.  Then AND now.  WHAAAAAAAAAA!

Because it’s really, really easy to be a LOT of things.  But kind?  Kind-HEARTED??  In seventh grade?!  Especially with some of crap rats she goes to school with?!?  That’s really, really hard.  Nigh impossible.  It would be for me at least.  But she’s a waaaaay better person than I.  And I’m so proud of her for staying true to herself and not letting the crap rats unmake her.  And thus I tear up.

By the time we sit down with the Religion/Social Studies teacher, Sissy is looking at me out of the corner of her eye like a frightened colt whose barn is on fire.  She keeps giving me these nervous sideways glances throughout the conversation.  So many  so that I become worried the teacher will become worried that Sissy is worried I’m gonna start shouting obscenities (or some equally horrifying behavior – striptease perhaps?) in front of a gymful of chess players.  So instead of allowing the teacher to speculate about the reason for the nervous looks, I address them outright by telling the teacher that Sissy is worried I’ll start crying.  Hey!  Speaking of crying!!?  I then start CRYING telling the teacher how I CRIED at Back to School night when she mentioned how – out of the 900+ Sundays we have to spend with our children from the day they’re born until they leave for college – we only have 312 left with them by the time they’re in Seventh Grade.  I swear to God, I hope you’re crying now too.  Because otherwise you’re an A$$.  And I’m an A$$ AND the most embarrassing person in the WORLD, not just to Seventh Graders.  Crying at Back to School Night AND at Parent/Teacher Conferences?!?  Good.  Lord.

On the way to the third-and-final teacher, Sissy thoroughly briefs me – via a rushed and furiously whispered diatribe – on what motherly behavior is acceptable at parent/teacher conferences, and what is so, so embarrassing to her.  Oh.  Ok.  Got it, Sweetie.  The CRYING is…how do you say in seventh grade speak?…the most mortifying thing that will ever happen to you in your entire life?!?  Good to know.      

But as we sit down at the Science teacher’s chess table, Hubby passes the box of tissues to Sissy.  Who passes them on to me, shaking her head from side to side. 

I’m not sure WHOM the box of tissues were originally intended for, or WHY they were sitting there in the first place, but they suit me just fine. 

Hey, Boo!  Did you bring your HOO?!? 

Yep, sure did.  But in my own defense, it’s good to know that my wonderful girl, who is so, so beautiful to me, is beautiful to others too. 

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