Sunday, October 13, 2013

Grin and Bear It

Thank you all for your kind words and support for my friend Brittney. Some of you have asked how you can help; if you are interested, a memorial fund has been set up for her: We have spent the last week trying to get back on track, keenly aware of just how fragile our little family really is.

On a lighter note, this week also marked our very first parent-teacher conferences. I will tell you that I was a smidge petrified. Prior to the conference, David and I were discussing our own experiences as children, recalling those fateful nights when our parents would walk in the front door, lips tightly pursed and brows furrowed. Those conferences never went well.

David is always quick to retell his own elementary school traumas as a young boy in Catholic school. One year, David's parents were called in after David was caught stealing Jolly Ranchers out of his teacher's desk at recess. For whatever reason, the school frowned upon students stealing from nuns. Go figure.

I, on the other hand, have been plagued with the same comments on my report card for my entire life. In fifth grade, Mrs. Brady wrote, "Amy needs to learn to sit quietly while those around her are finishing their work." Mrs, Brady, I am still working on it. Those same comments may or may not have appeared on my last performance review.

As we entered the conference, we hedged our bets.

Morgan's teacher was just delightful. She is working hard to instill a sense of responsibility in each child and is actively creating a positive learning environment. She showed us samples of Morgan's work, highlighting how well she is performing academically.

I was almost breathing a sigh of relief. Almost. Until she uttered these words, "Morgan does really well in class. That is, when she's focused. She just really is a little social butterfly." Dammit, dammit, dammit. I am not going to suggest I was even remotely surprised, but that didn't make the sting any more bearable. I endured so.many.years of having to will myself quiet when I was POSITIVE the rest of the world was dying to hear exactly what I was thinking. And I had passed my affliction on to my daughter. To add insult to injury, I had also just lost a bet to David. At least she's not stealing...yet.

As we parted ways, Morgan's teacher handed me Morgan's school photo. When I opened the envelope, I couldn't help but chuckle:

If that smile doesn't say "fake it 'till you make it" I don't know what does. I suppose I would be too if I had just found out I have to spend the next 12 years sitting quietly. I feel your pain, baby girl. I feel your pain.

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