Meet the Father
This morning was meet the teacher and my son, my second child, is starting Kindergarten. We’ve been down this road as a family before but I was barely tuned in the first time two years ago when my daughter started Kindergarten. Last year, when she was in first grade, I went with them on the first day of school. This school year I was working a lot to finish a major rush project and overall it’s been a hectic year at the office so I never met my daughter’s first grade teacher or participated in any school activities. I only went to a couple of her soccer games as well, mostly staying home with the younger two.
Now it’s my turn and I am overwhelmed. I went to the Kindergarten meeting last night and there was a lot of new to me information that was old news to my wife. It didn’t help that we had an issue with our primary database server right before I headed to the meeting so I was getting text updates and having to reply occasionally. Close to the end of the meeting the systems lead called to give me the final analysis and it took me a minute to figure out how to silence my new phone because it had never been an issue before. I sat with the moms of our mom group and probably came across as the bumbling father so often depicted in sitcoms.
Getting into the school I was fine but as we started going into the classrooms to meet the teachers I could sense my social programs going into fault mode. There was so many people, including a few I should recognize but didn’t because of my inability to remember names and faces. I ended up introducing myself to my daughter’s soccer coach as if we’ve never met. As usual I let my wife do most of the talking and she was on her game. It helped that she had been heavily involved as a volunteer and knew the teachers well and the in-and-outs of how the school ran. But with her social skills she could have dropped in from another planet and been just fine. The teachers gave her a warm welcome and commented that she was looking forward to working with her “super volunteer”. At that point my wife introduced me, explained that we had switched roles and that I would be pinch hitting. It’s probably just my inner insecurity talking but I could swear the teacher’s faces were booing me as I stepped up to the plate.
Note to self: Check wife’s purse for social performance enhancing drugs and, if they exist, find out who her dealer is.
I’ve got the home front down, but on the school front my son and I are starting Kindergarten together. While I know we are doing the right thing economically it’s days like today that make me worry my kids are getting the short end of the stick. In the past it was all about not embarrassing myself in social situations. Now I’ve got my kids to worry about. I’ve never been so glad to have such a socially skilled and supportive wife. Now I have to go introduce myself to my daughter’s soccer coach for the second time today at her first scrimmage tonight. Yes, I am officially a soccer dad, too.
Great post, Rob. You were able to express what so many parents feel and experience. It’s great that you and Laura are able to switch roles and I’m sure those teachers were sad to lose Laura’s help but I’m sure you can fill her shoes! My favorite part of this post was you introducing yourself again to the soccer coach! That must be a family curse–I couldn’t tell you how many times that’s happened to me!!