Today started with my 14 year old daughter making herself a peanut butter sandwich to take to school for lunch. As she reached into the cabinet to get a container, she asked her little brother to grab her a bottle of water.
Do you remember in The Sixth Sense when Haley Joel Osmet’s mom walks out of the kitchen, then returns a moment later to find all of the cabinets and drawers open? That’s what it sounded like this morning when my daughter turned back to her sandwich and found a water bottle stuck firmly into the middle of the bread.
My son just turned 11, and he is smart, so you’d think he would know better, but let’s keep in mind that this is the child who has secretly been taking pictures of people’s double-chins with my phone. I go to make a phone call and instead find 64 photos of fat necks; my own included. You don’t even want to see the search history on our iPad.
Sometimes his behavior is downright bizarre, so that’s why it was such a relief when my husband and I sat in a classroom at, what we hope will be, our son’s new school. Though I will admit, before the class started we were concerned the day would be filled with nothing but chaos.
There was the student with personal space issues (BEEN THERE) and the other one who ran around the room only to stop and pet my husband’s jacket (BEEN THERE, TOO), one child was sleeping, and one child was rolling around in his teacher’s chair. My husband and I looked at each other with that same what are we going to do now look that we’ve given each other many times before.
But, then the class started. Though the behaviors didn’t come to a complete halt, these kids were learning and they were learning stuff that my husband and I were clueless about. No offense to Canadian geography, or anything. I couldn’t believe the difficulty of the work and I couldn’t believe how smart these kids were.
The teacher, who knew exactly what to do to get through to each individual child, had them focused, challenging themselves, taking a quiz without audible groaning, and speaking clearly as they read aloud. It was amazing to watch and I was flat-out honored for the opportunity. I wish everyone could do it. Ignorance is bliss, after all, but knowledge is power.
At one point a student raised her hand and started a sentence to her teacher by saying, “No offense, but maybe you should have…” Yeah, that whole “no-offense” thing? BEEN THERE, TOO. My son used to start most of his sentences with, “I’m sorry to say this, but…”
That’s when my husband and I looked at each other and silently thought, these are our people. And that’s a place where we’ve never really been before.