Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Today I had my first meeting with Jack's new teacher.  New school, new teacher, I had hoped to demonstrate the mature side of me, and finally have a parent/teacher conference where I do not cry.  This was not the case.

When my older sister has meetings with teachers she becomes (in her words) a "Mother Bear".  Picture in your mind a grizzly and her cubs and you have my sister. I wish I had a fraction of that emotion in me. When I have a meeting with my child's teacher I begin, very kind and friendly, and then soon move into a sobbing mess. It is embarrassing to say the least.

Today I met with Jack's teacher, the reading specialist, and someone else who I was never really sure what her job title was.  All three said really nice things about Jack. Remarking on his sweet spirit, his sense of humor, his cheerful attitude, but then identifying areas of weakness.  I knew we were meeting to discuss his assessment scores. I knew they had had a second assessment based on his first scores. I know he struggles with sight words, pencil grip, forming letters/numbers. I felt confident I was going to be okay during this meeting.

When asked to give a history of Jack, I teared up, but nothing bad.  I joked that I always cry when talking about my son, and was handed a box of Kleenex. I took one, and handed the box back. I wasn't going to really cry, I knew why we were here.  But then they started talking, and once again, I felt my eyes fill up with tears. I felt the overwhelming sense of sadness as they talked about all the areas Jack was struggling in.

I nodded through all of it, kept saying, "I'm happy, this is good!", whenever they looked at me. Finally the teacher did say, "I'm not sure if these are happy tears or sad tears". It probably didn't help that I had added chin quivering to my crying. It wasn't just a few tears in my eyes, it was a flood. Tears down my face, on my arm, chin quivering, etc.  That poor Kleenex I took was a soggy mess; I deeply regretted handing the box back so nonchalantly.

Walking out, I knew I had to go to the office and turn in my name tag. I planned to drop it off and run, but I saw the principal in her office, and for some reason thought it sounded like a good idea to go and talk to her.  Why? I'm not so sure. I walked in said 'hi' and then proceeded to sob. Not cry, but sob.  She politely shut the door and then handed me a giant handful of Kleenex.  Finally enough to mop up the mess that was my face.

In hindsight, I should have taken the badge home with me. Instead I sat in her office and kept telling her how happy I was that Jack was getting help, all the while crying.  In the end, I calmed down, and was ready to make the walk of shame to my car, when I ran into the assistant principal.

"I need to talk to you!" He says.

I was really hoping he needed to talk to the principal. But, not it was me.

"Come in my office! We need to talk so you can start subbing!"

This is when he really looks at me, at the swollen red eyes and nose, the giant wad of Kleenex in my hand and says, "Oh, we can talk next week."

Don't worry, I told him, I can sub and not cry. Really I can!

Do you see why I wish I was a little more like my sister? Just a little, just enough to sit through a meeting and not cry. That is all I am asking.


Michelle said...

My Mother Bear extends to all my nephews (and one niece)....if you ever want someone to sit in at a meeting and give teachers the evil eye, I'm your Bear!

Kristin said...

I love you and I'm so glad you are in a place where Jack is loved and cared for so deeply and a place where they want you too!!