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September 21, 2005

Invisible Parent

This evening was a Parent's Night at Renee's school, where you meet your child's teacher(s) and get the buzz on how they do the things they do in the coming school year. It started around 7:20pm, Jean dropped me off at 7:15. She and Renee went back home since it was ostensibly just for parents (how's that supposed to work, if both parents want to come?). I found Renee's desk, and sat down, looking over her textbooks, scoping out the wall decorations, and finally, playing PalmJongg until the other parents settled in and the talk began.

Now understand, by 7pm I'm generally pretty done. My day is over, I'm pondering the day's events, kidding with my wife, and unwinding, in preparation for the next day. So I'm pretty toasted, and endeavoring to take a note now and then when some point comes up that seems important and is not on the preprinted outline, is a major effort. When Mrs. Houtz asks if there are any questions, I'm thinking "no, let's all go home now", but of course there are several questions, none of which interest me. I sit silently, pencil in hand, trying to look engaged.

Finally, it was over, and I'm making my way out of the room, thinking only of calling Jean to come pick me up again. Out of my peripheral vision comes Renee's other teacher, Mrs. Kronsub, hand extended. "Nice to meet you," she says. I reach out, grasp her hand, try to smile, mumble something, then turn around and continue walking. It's really only now that it occurs to me that she may actually have wanted to engage in some sort of social chit-chat. Oops.

So those of you who know me and are secretly wondering if I ever shut up, this is an example of how I always behave around people I don't know. Mr. Introvert. The Invisible Parent.

Posted by dpwakefield at September 21, 2005 09:47 PM