I’m getting a pretty good idea of how travelers to a foreign country must feel. People look at you a bit funny, and they tend to talk very slowly.
I’ve found myself to be the foreigner when it comes to traveling to my son’s elementary school. I pretty much did the same thing when my daughter was the same age. And I refused to not do it just because I was single. I mean, giving in like that would mean that cancer won, right?
And so, I try to make it all happen – go to everything, be involved at their schools as much as I could. This could range from going to band concerts and spelling bees to reading to a classroom full of kids.
In recent years I’ve found myself helping in my son’s classes as room “mom.” It’s been a fun experience, and somehow my son hasn’t been too embarrassed. I think he’s too young to know just how dorky I am.
But the funniest part is the looks I sometimes get from the real moms. They can see through me, knowing that I often don’t have a clue what I should be doing with my own kids, much less a classroom of 20-25 seven-year olds.
I often get the look of someone who has come from the other side of the planet, their speech slowing down so that even I can understand.
“CAN . . . YOU . . . BRING . . . COLD . . . DRINKS . . . TO . . . THE . . . PARTY?” I’m asked very slowly and deliberately.
Cold drinks, I think. And the first thought that goes through my mind is, beer? No, wait, that can’t be right. Then I slowly catch on, and agree. Then quickly making scheduling a reminder in my phone so that I don’t forget.
Isn’t that all of us though? All of us as parents have to learn on the go, learn as life is speeding past us. It would be great if parenting came with an instruction book, with all of the answers you would ever need at your fingertips.
But instead, we’re all left as parents to learn as we go, make the best decisons we can, and pray that we don’t screw up our kids too much.
And sometimes we appreciate those times when we’re in that foreign land, and people slow down enough to give us a chance to know exactly what we need to do.