I just returned from a parent-teacher conference with my daughter’s second grade teacher. I know I spend a great deal of time complaining about my little rug rats–who are in fact not rug rats anymore, but more like street rats–however, I have to say that I am really proud of my rats too. Evelyn’s teacher gave her a glowing report, but I honestly did not expect anything less and not because she is my daughter! She is a really smart little girl.
I was picking up all the papers her teacher gave me and saying my last goodbyes to her when I saw Evelyn and all her classmates file in the door. They all had such happy faces and Evie was especially excited to see me. Knowing the kids are excited to see me when I am on their stomping grounds makes me feel really good. Prior to Evelyn coming in, I saw my oldest, Jared walking out of one of his classrooms and I remember seeing him give me a quirky smile too. Anyway, I gave Evie many kisses before she sat down and all her friends started excitedly saying, “Hi Evie’s mom! Hi Ms. Bordeaux! Are you Evie’s mom? Hi my name is…” As I passed by all the kids, waved and shook hands, I noticed the fifth graders lining up to go to their next class. I walked toward the front office as they began to shuffle by me toward the gym when I saw Jared again. I put my arm around his shoulders and proceeded to pull him into me and give him many kisses asking him if I was embarrassing him to which he replied, “No not in the least.” (Note to self–find new ways to embarrass children. ) Meanwhile, some friends behind him smiled and laughed and said their hellos to me. I left him there, said goodbye and left the school.
All these moments, these new memories I created with my own children which happened in all of two minutes, instantly brought back my own memories of MY dad. With all these kids anxious to say hello to me I remembered how much my own elementary school friends loved my dad. How could they not? He was so crazy and funny and so easy to get along with that he made their time fun.
I remember taking a field trip to Carlsbad Caverns one day and all the boys ended up riding with my dad in the back of his pick-up truck. There was NO WAY I was going to ride with my own father–how embarrassing! All the girls wanted to ride with Mr. Cancellare anyway, our hot teacher. By the time we reached the caverns two hours later, all the boys climbed out the back of the pick-up, which had a camper shell on it–laughing and exclaiming, “Man! Your dad is cool!” Apparently he was singing the popular heavy metal hit song “Balls to the Wall” with them on the way up. Geesh Dad! Secretly, his popularity with all the kids made me happy.
I don’t spend a great deal of time up at the kids’ schools, but I do volunteer for a field trip once a year in their classes and help with a party now and then. I hope the time I do spend with them at school and with their friends gives them many fond memories to cherish. I know my dad’s did.