Tuesday, September 25, 2007

welcome, welcome!

So my daughter started at a new school this year. Lucky for her she knows people there, because starting to go someplace new can be kind of scary. I remember my first week of high school...I had butterflies in my stomach every morning. My second year of high school--I was at a new school again. More butterflies. I think I've been programmed to get nervous every time I get near a high school.

When we went to her open house, there was no one standing anywhere to direct newcomers and latecomers. We were running about ten minutes late (oh, big surprise) and I wasn't sure where we needed to go. Great. I hazarded a guess and aimed for the building that now had a long line of students streaming out of the open door. We found a place to check in, and I sent her on her way trailing after the line going into the other building.

I wasn't sure what to do next or where to go, but since there were people sitting down on the chairs that were set out in rows, I found a row about halfway back and stepped past people to go all the way to the end of the row. I just wanted to blend in and sit down quickly. I wasn't terribly excited about being there.

Seriously, when you've sat through twenty-three previous "beginning of school" speeches, there isn't a great deal of new material to learn. And yet, if I neglected to stay for this fine presentation, I felt like I would be pinning a label on my kid that said, "PARENT DOES NOT CARE. FLUNK HER." So I sat.

I realized that I was seated on the most uncomfortable folding chair EVER. The seat was too skinny for my big butt, and I didn't dare wiggle because it felt as if it were ready to collapse at any second. I was tired. The speeches almost put me to sleep, except for the fact that my legs were so itchy and twitchy. I was ready to leap up and run screaming out of the building. It was excruciating. I just let my legs move slowly, as if I were running through stiff molasses in mid-December. I didn't look around at anyone, but it felt like everyone was staring at me. "Oh, look. She's one of the special moms. Do you think her kid is special, too?"

Finally, when my reprieve had come and the speeches buzzing through the microphone had ceased, I eased myself carefully off that chair. I wanted to do a jig right there because I could finally stand up and move, but instead I tried to discreetly just get a good stretch. As I did that, I realized I had no feeling in my legs. I couldn't tell if both feet were actually on the floor, so I stood there, nonchalantly looking through the handouts they had given me. I had to wait for the circulation to come back so I could walk without falling down.

I wandered into the other building. The staff people were just kind of standing around waiting to be talked to, and since I had given the class schedule to my daughter after we checked in, I didn't know which teachers she had. So I moseyed through, trying to be inconspicuous, hoping none of them would ask me questions I didn't know how to answer.

I'd walk into a classroom to look around, and after "Hello," I would just look at the teacher with a pleasant smile pasted on my face. Let's see, do I ask her what subject she teaches? Nah, there are Spanish words plastered all over the walls. It's pretty obvious she's not teaching math or social studies. How about, what's your name? No, don't think so. She has it on the board. Wait. I could introduce myself, but what if she's not my daughter's teacher this year? Is she taking Spanish? I think she is, but suddenly every class that is on her schedule has gone completely out of my head. I'll just make a swift exit and stand in the hallway, checking out the tenth grade lockers. They have names on them. I could see if I recognize any of them.

I'm just not that great at making small talk in those situations. I always feel like I'm going to say the wrong thing and look like a complete idiot.

"Emergency information card? Why, no, I don't have that. In her packet? She doesn't have her packet yet. Oh. They got sent in the mail two weeks ago?" .

Uh, yeah, well the mail at my house gets put in a pile by the computer. I haven't looked at it this month yet. Wearing my sign, now. It says LOSER in big letters.

I was so pleased when I found my dear child and I could tell her I was going to go and wait in the car. Finally, liberation!

1 comment:

Miss Paula said...

Too Too Funny!!

Our Back to School night is the first week in October. OCTOBER? That is halfway through the first quarter. Goodness, if my daughter is supposed to be doing something, I don't even know the rules yet. UGH. Anyway I don't have to go because I have Bible Study that evening so my dear wonderful husband will go! Bless him!