Once my biggest challenge was making the 4X100 relay team. Other challenges? Stop smoking, date a guy who works for a living, date a guy who doesn’t lie.
Cough without peeing myself.
My daughter the other day told me that some classmates – girls – had taken it upon themselves to inform her (often) when she was being “a spaz”.
Biggest challenge ever? Stop myself from driving to school to tell these girls that maybe they’d fooled everybody else (what smart sweet girls), but I was on to them.
My kids aren’t perfect examples of respectable behaviour. My daughter’s impatience is what led to this label that, I discovered, she has been carrying for months. By the last few days of school, she was beyond weary. She was done.
She is moving schools with some other classmates. She told me she conducted a survey these last few days of Who Will Miss Me and Who Won’t Miss Me.
I found this sheet as I went through her stack of papers the days following June 29. There were columns she had not shared with me, such as Who Will Sort Of Miss Me and Who Says They Will Miss Me But Actually Won’t.
Both columns had the names of two girls I thought to be her good friends. My daughter told me that as school wound down, these girls had told her she budded into their lives too much when they didn’t want her there. I asked her: How did you feel about that? She said she was happy for summer to come.
There was another column: Who Says They Won’t Miss Me But They Actually Will. She had written a boy’s name, one we had heard many times throughout the year.
“He says he won’t miss me,” she said to me, giggling, “but I know he will.”
This is my view as I watch three boys in my son’s class write their Father’s Day poems:
Really short hair, short hair and long hair. I noticed the boys in the class are all, coincidentally, seated by hair lengths. My son is part of the long hairs.
I volunteer at the school. I enjoy it. I have never volunteered in my life – ok, that short stint at the Humane Society where I pet cats and cried so much, I had to stop after three visits. This has been my taste of doing something because I only want to. I don’t have to, I sort of need to but most of all I want to.
I worked closely with my son’s teacher this year and I am very fortunate to have had this opportunity. I helped the kids write. It has been most satisfying.
I was able to volunteer at my daughter’s school as well. Her teacher is a wonderful man. My kids have been very lucky this year, and in turn, so have I. As the end of the school year approaches I am sad but also sort of relieved.
I am sort of relieved because it is tough being a volunteer. Mostly because I am never completely comfortable. While my job may be easily defined for that specific purpose, my role is vast and I need to find my way through with few guidelines (I have no union). I often feel that when a person at the school fails to look happy to see me that I have stepped across a line somehow. It is my compulsion to second guess myself maybe.
I do feel down some days, if there has been a slight or a moment of awkwardness or a fit of quick anger that I have tamped down.
So I think of a moment, like the one of the boys above. Those heads down as they work quietly, tongues sticking out or legs fiddling beneath the table. It is worth it – those uneasy moments – because the good moments are startling in their delight.