Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tales from the First Grade Hall

Yesterday we had the second parent/teacher conference with Mrs. P., The Kid's teacher extraordinaire. She was running a little behind so we spent a few minutes standing around in the hallway outside the classroom.

We talked to N. one of The Kid's classmate's mom who's baby is due in two weeks. In the past couple of years I've known just a handful of people who got pregnant and my response to the pregnancies of these acquaintances has evolved a good deal. When A. told me she was expecting, I murmured congratulations and ran out to the car, where I sobbed all the way home. The knowledge that it would never be me again just made me so sad. When we noticed N. was pregnant, I paused long enough to poke around at the old feelings and really, nothing was there. In the three years between these pregnancies, I have gotten very comfortable with the size of our little family. I am truly happy being one of three.

We also ran into C. and her husband D. Their daughter is in the class across the hall from The Kid's. C. is in the English Department at Trinity University, where Lefty teaches in the Biology Department. They exchanged a bit of university gossip and I mentioned that I knew Jenny Browne who's also in the English Department and C. said, "Oh, are you a poet too?" and I stammered and actually almost answered no, but then said, "yes, yes", sort of hastily as if I wasn't really sure. What's up with that response? I've identified myself as a poet for years and only recently started using the term "writer" when I began to write so much prose, this blog included. It was odd and I felt like I somehow botched my answer and replayed the mistake over in my head way too many times last night while I was trying to go to sleep. Does anyone else do that? Let an unimportant little verbal misstep in a trivial conversation keep them up at night?

But back to the parent/teacher conference. The Kid is doing wonderfully in school. He has worked on improving some behavior things (like talking while the teacher is talking or not listening to directions) and Mrs. P. says she can really see an improvement. His reading and math are both off the charts. (Yet his scored on the standardized "gifted and talented" tests were nowhere close to what he needed to get into the program. What the…? ) Mrs. P says he's empathetic and kind and a hard worker – words that do a mother's heart good.

Now if I could just get him to eat a decent lunch!


  1. Maybe we need to practice more? (Because I do this too.) Have friends and family randomly ask us, "What do you do?" so we can get used to the true answer.

    I'm glad for you--that you're feeling more at peace about being one of three. (I didn't realize that The Kid isn't an only child by choice.)

    Did Mrs. P actually tell you what it takes to get into the gifted and talented program?

  2. Hey Karen. The school district uses four standardized tests as criteria for the G&T program. The Kid ended up with scores that weren't in the 98% G&T range. We (and Mrs. P) were really surprised at his scores.

    Maybe we should start a 12 step program for writers - Hi. My name is Laura and I'm a poet.

    Have a great day!

  3. I think so many (women usually) feel like they are boasting or aren't good enough to declare themselves what they really are. Keep practicing!