In 12 years of attending school Open Houses with the kids, this has never happened … I don’t have the kids. They’re mercifully out of town. And I finally get to attend an Open House the way I’ve always dreamed …
I wear what I want to wear –without my kids telling me I’m too dressed up, because I combed my hair and put on shoes. They think lip gloss makes it look like I’m trying too hard, it’s embarrassing. So be it. To the lip gloss, I add a dress, a necklace and shoes with a heel.
And I arrive fashionably late. No getting shoved out of the house so the kids can get in and out. Last year we beat the teachers there. All that does, is set a false expectation that my kids are actually going to be at school on time.
With people already there, I can actually stop and talk to them – without being pushed from behind by a pre-teen mumbling, “go Mom, just go.” And I can speak frankly. None of that, “we had a such a wonderful summer, didn’t we children? So sad to see it end.” It’s more like, “Ya know, it was hit or miss, I’m glad it’s over, happy to have the house to myself – coffee sometime?”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Not only can I talk to my friends, I can talk to my kids’ friends – since there was no briefing in the car about how I’m not allowed to speak to, nod in the direction of, or acknowledge the existence of any adolescent.
“Hey Zachary!” I call out, waving, as he frantically looks for my son to stop his crazy mother from speaking to him in public. Nope, he’s not here to save you, you’ll have to address an adult. “I hear you’re trying out for football. Go Bulldogs! Did you know I was a cheerleader? I can still do a herkie!”
And then I do the highest herkie jump I can muster, right there in the middle of the hall. No, I don’t do that. I’m in heels, remember? Besides, a crowd has gathered – the adults are all craning to see what happens when a parent engages a child.
“Show’s over,” I holler. “I’m going to buy spirit wear. Because I can. Because my kids aren’t here to tell me how mortifying it is that I wear Bulldog sweats. I’m gettin’ a coffee mug too. And if anybody needs me, I’ll be hanging out by the lockers, speaking to every child I know. Then I’m going to tour the school, meet the principal, chat up the teachers, find a water fountain, and gossip with my friends for an hour. It’s Open House. And this year it’s my house. I am in da HOUSE!
You get the idea …
Curtis: firstname.lastname@example.org; @TracyLeeCurtis1