Me Myself and I, 3rd grade school assignment, Berkeley, CA
Back-to-School night was a few weeks back. Now that both kids are at the same school, we were busy: two classrooms to case, two teachers to whom to introduce ourselves/ our family make-up/ our family nomenclature/ etc., two clumps of curious parents to which to introduce ourselves. Our divide-and-conquer strategy was hampered by the familiar Mama will need to extirpate herself from the theater and won’t be able to be there for the whole shebang thing, magnified my wobbly stumbling in the wake of my recent unanticipated job loss. Outgoing Presidents and Presidents-elect have over two months in which to effectively transfer and assume power, and I am thinking Mrs Dad and I are going to need at least that much time to re-shape our family rhythms now that I’m back in them again. Meanwhile, there’s the frequent backing into each other in the kitchen, and the simultaneously uttered “I thought you scored the babysitter for tonight!”
So, late and frazzled though we were, back-to-school we went, and whistle-stop toured each room. True to our experience thusfar, teachers and parents were warm and welcoming, and we were able to get down to the business of consuming all we could about the education our kids were about to receive, rather than worry about whether anyone in a position of influence over our children would understand, or worse, judge us. (Those of you who do have to worry about and parent around and through such things: (1) my heart goes out to you and (2) I can’t wait ’til we fix all of this.)
We were struck with the warmth of “our” teachers this year (when will we stop feeling as if we share the kids’ teachers?). At the end of the night, as we were leaving our daughter’s classroom, we saw three rows of the kids’ self portraits on the wall in the hallway, each accompanied by a page of descriptive text. The children were clearly asked to complete a series of sentences: “One thing I like to do in school is…” “A friend I have in class is…” And so forth.
The last question was: “I want [teacher's name] to know that…” Our girlie answered so simply, so matter-of-factly, and in so doing also answered not just her teacher’s question, but the huge one I had long ago, when we were just starting this parenting journey: “Will my kids be insecure, or secretive, or ashamed about the fact that they’re being raised by two lesbians?”
In a word: nope.
(For foreshadowing, see also: end-of-Kindergarten self-portrait.)