Today I will be attending “bring adult to school” day at my son’s school. I love my boys. I love them so much. And I know I will be fine. I have done this three times now. It shouldn’t be scary. (But it is)
I keep telling myself that it will all be over quickly. First we parents will wander the halls searching for our children’s classroom. Then we will squat at child sized tables in child-sized chairs and try to act like this is normal. Our kids will bounce around us, eagerly shoving artwork in our faces with pride. We will get a chance to look around and notice, oh the other kids don’t know how to wipe their face properly, or remember to speak softly, or sit still EVER, just like mine. Then we will all line up. But we won’t be able to stand right next to them because that will prove too great a distraction. So we will try to melt into the background. We will point to the front when our child looks around for us. We will mouth, “pay attention” to remind them to focus.
Then we will all travel into the auditorium. There we will sit on the linoleum with our kids (if our knees can take it), or we will stand in the back and shift from one foot to the other uncomfortably. And thus will begin “Assembly”. There will be some singing, there will be some handing out of awards, some slideshows, and then more singing. And then it will be all over.
We will all head back to the classrooms, a bit more disorganized than we when left. After that normal classroom life will resume. We will kiss our kids goodbye and tell them we love them. And then we will leave.
I always get a feeling of euphoria as I leave. It’s the kind of bliss that only happens after surviving some great pain or hardship. Because being there reminds me of what it was like to be in school as a child, the cold rooms, the noises and hot breath of the other kids pressing in around you, the constant and persistent onslaught of stimulation from every direction.
School was rough for me as a kid. Looking back I am not sure how I got through it. I couldn’t do it now. But what I can do is go and be there for my boys for a couple of hours this morning. I can absolutely do that.