Here I sit on day two of our parent/teacher conferences, obviously bored to tears because I have resorted to writing another blog! Yesterday was quite a bit busier than today, and I have finished all grading and planning and am left yearning for Fall Break.
Parents come and parents go, but once in a while one comes in that actually wants to relate to the teacher, actually wants to just have a nice grown-up conversation that doesn’t involve how junior is doing academically. One such parent came in yesterday and just made my world a little brighter. I wasn’t showered with accolades; we just had a mom moment that felt like a breath of fresh air.
This mom asked me if I ever cried! Odd question to start a P/T conference. Yes, I said. She proceeded to clarify her question by asking if I ever cried randomly for no reason or was it during certain times of the month. Well, quite frankly, I do both. In fact, sometimes I don’t even need a reason to cry. Then she shared how she was driving her youngest and last child to the high school when it suddenly hit her that he was the last one left. Tears just started welling up in her eyes. Well, I could certainly relate.
I told her that had happened to me just the day before. I drove my daughter to a nearby town to do some shopping and we met her boyfriend there. We shopped, laughed, and then she asked if she could ride back home with her boyfriend. I gave my consent, not thinking much of it, and hugged them all goodbye before I climbed into my truck. I pulled out of the parking lot and turned into the left turn lane as they pulled into the right turn lane. My daughter waved and smiled her prettiest (and orneriest) as they sped off into the evening. Suddenly I was choking down tears as I realized how precious little time I had left with her.
Then I shared another experience with the mom that had occured several days prior to that. I was reading some essays from my students about personal experiences and had to stop and wipe the tears out of my eyes before someone saw me. Sometimes seeing what students endure and how they overcome is more than my tender heart can stand.
She and I both chatted a little bit longer about our need to cry from time to time, and then we proceeded to talk about junior and his chances for valedictorian! But that brief moment meant more to me than being patted on the back or being selected as “Teacher of the Year”. It was so nice to have someone just come in and be HUMAN.
Just as there are Mexican Hairless, Shetland Sheepdogs, Neopolitan Mastiffs and Chihuahuas, there are a variety of men. And just as there are pet owners, many of these men have already been claimed as well. I have always taught my children to leave other people’s dogs alone. Too many times, what appears to be a nice puppy can turn out to be an illtempered pet. At other times there may be an overprotective owner who simply doesn’t want “precious” messed with by outsiders. Then of course there are the strays that roam the neighborhood bearing all manner of disease and parasites!
As I said, men are like dogs. There are those who already have a home and then there are those that prowl the streets in search of tail. Most men, like dogs, enjoy a good scratch or tummy rub. The only problem is that sometimes these affections come from people other than the “dog’s owner”. There may be an awkward moment when the male, still in shock, laughs it off, but deep down, that pat on the butt from the perky blonde sent every hormone into overload. Once home, the submissive man may try to make a joke of it to his wife or actually feign disgust over the fact that it happened. Unfortunately, damage has already been done.
There is a word of warning for women here too. If you don’t want YOUR pooch messed with, keep your paws off of other people’s pets. I don’t think there is anything worse than a woman who hasn’t learned first, that married men are no longer for sale and second, that once she has a pet all to herself, that’s the ONLY one she is to be adoring. If men are dogs, women can be cats. And women beware! I WILL scratch your eyes out if you mess with my rottweiler!
When all of the town doubted, I had faith. When others said, “Leave it alone,” you chose to proceed. You studied, learned, analyzed and believed the impossible. Then with a mighty blow, you let the hammer down and settled my world back on it’s foundations. Yes my dear, I’m talking about you. You are the He-man in my life. Others look upon your stature and doubt your ability, but you and I both know that strength begins in the mind and heart.
Others, thought to be much stronger than you, have quailed at lesser tasks, but you have superceeded them all. You know no limits or boundaries. When you spoke of moving physical walls and foundations, men scratched their heads and shied away. Then with a single sledge hammer and a come-along, you did the seemingly impossible. You moved a house back on its foundation. You also moved my faith in you. Not that it ever lacked; you just established it more firmly than ever.
I believe in you and in everything that you attempt. Nothing is greater than your heart, nor can anything diminish your devotion to your family. Thank you for being a real man in a world where men are not respected. Thank you for taking a stand and standing firm when others cower. You are my hero and my home. I love you.