In honor of Back to School business, I am sharing a story from our very first foray into the halls of education one spring day many moons ago.
I had to take Rachel in for her Kindergarten screening and since she was our first born and it seemed like the biggest deal ever, I picked out a pretty pink dress for her and her white tights and navy blue leather Mary Jane’s from Iverson’s. (Local folks my age are smiling about right now) And that is the end of the pleasant part of this tale.
We had a slight altercation as I began to help her get dressed. And by slight, I mean we probably should have called in for back-up. I finally got her wrestled into her clothes and locked in her car seat, where she sat fuming out the window.
Not being one to let a person work through their issues alone, I stepped in with an instructional lecture that was received about as well as the outfit I had selected for this interview. Our conversation escalated, but more on that later.
The rest of the trip to the county school; where she would begin her journey of learning that would culminate two decades later with a Nurse Practitioners license – 9 months pregnant with her own firstborn, passed in stony silence.
In the hall of the elementary school we stopped at a table where they took my daughter off by herself and I sat in a hard plastic chair and waited. This was pre-cell phone days, people, so it was a looooonng wait.
Finally, the evaluating teacher called me in.
I sat on the other side of her desk finally reunited with our child. Apparently Rachel had missed two of the questions. She called a picture of a chicken a hen and a penny a cent.
I bit my tongue from asking the educator if the drawing had been a rooster or a hen and reminding her that we often say “One cent” for a penny…it even bears the name.
Instead I just said, as minimally sarcastically as I could, that we would work on that over the summer.
But the report was not finished.
Next she raised her eyebrows above her glasses, peered over at me and said that when asked what a mom is, our daughter had responded that a mom is someone you push.
Then she asked why our little one would say such a thing.
I was mortified.
I looked at Rachel and if I didn’t know better, I think her expression could have been a nonverbal “Touche”.
Immediately I began to stammer that we had had a disagreement before leaving home about her outfit and I had lectured her a bit in the car about the scene she had made and had definitely said in my closing comments that sometimes she just pushed me to the limits.
I laughed nervously as I finished.
The teacher was not amused.
I thank the good Lord this was a day and age where you didn’t get reported for stuff like this and we had another quiet ride home, but even at the time…as embarrassed as I was, I saw the humor in it.
They do say the darnedest things.
I am thinking of all the moms and dads and kiddos entering a new school year.
Times have changed and that pandemic thing has done a work on us.
But kids are kids and parents are parents…
So I hope and pray all the young families are finding moments to make memories and laugh and yes, shed a tear or two at how quickly time passes.
Hugs to all who are packing up back packs or sharpening pencils or whatever you have going on as another school year rears its head at us.
Blessings and prayers <3