One of the very good things about the Parent Imperfect’s work schedule is that he is often able to get to the bus to meet Connie as she returns from school. As he overcommits himself to more and more new projects, however, his work squeezes more tightly up against bus stop time.
Yesterday, he hung up the phone just in time and headed out to meet his girl. He was still about 50 yards from the stop when she came bounding away from the “strictest busdriver ever.” She immediately saw the PI and came running down the busy sidewalk toward him. Backpack, lunchbox, jacket and all she leapt into the PI’s waiting hug.
“This must look like something from a life insurance commercial,” he thought, enjoying Connie’s embrace immensely. Before he could say how happy he was to see her, however, she beat him to the punch.
-Thank God you’re not talking on the phone.
Eighty-four emotions coursed through him in the time it takes the camera’s shutter to open and close, the last one admiration of his daughter’s ability to capture, in a phrase, what is really going on.
-We couldn’t color at recess today because R. had to do something.
She moved quickly beyond the “A-hah!” moment to begin telling what she had decided to share about her day at the Hernández. It wasn’t, of course, an “A-hah!” moment for her. Time will pass, hopefully, before the PI meets the bus with earbuds in place. Probably about five days, given that this will be a long weekend.
A couple of hours later, the PI turned the kitchen upside-down to cook his signature Black Bean Chilaquiles for a dinner of somewhat stressed parents of 7th and 8th graders at the nation’s oldest public school. Study skills was the topic that brought the group around the table, and almost nothing else would have done so.
One of the parents shared some of her learning from her experience as a tutor for high school students at a nearby private school. She struggled in to get a word in edgewise as the other parents told stories about the misadventures of Month One.
Ironically, for the children, it was a quick dinner of mac and cheese and then a night gleefully without study. Vincent’s embrace of his Earth Science notes when they returned home at 8:30 was fleeting, at best. At least the book didn’t tell him that it was good that he wasn’t on the phone.
“We can start trying all of M’s tips tomorrow night,” thought the PI as he waded into the chilaquile wreckage. El Día de la Raza approaches…not a moment too soon.