Friday, September 17, 2010

Harper Valley PTA, Not Really....

Well, it was inevitable in the grand progression of things. Since becoming a mother, I've watched my children achieve milestones in their development. But, I've achieved milestones of my own as well. I became a Soccer Mom; I became a Disney Mom, I sent my oldest son off on his first day of school; and now, I have reached yet another milestone: I have attended my first Parent-Teacher night at Dante's Montessori Academy.

I have to say that while everyone was really nice, I couldn't help hearing this song in the back of my head as I mingled and grazed over the hors d'oueuvre table.

Sure, it's not like I didn't expect to "stand out" from the other parents, I guess, but what caught me off guard the most was the fact that I did not feel as though I was a parent. In my mind, I was the kid. In my mind, I am still sixteen years old. In my mind, I was not the mother of two children. In my mind, one of the moms I met was forty years old and I thought she was "old" until I realized that I am 36 years old and closer to forty than to sixteen. I felt so strange because I forget that I am a grown-up. I really do. Don't get me wrong, I don't neglect my children and go out clubbing and have this delusion that I am really twenty years old. But, I tend to forget that I am a grown-up. I just think I'm sixteen and still "cool" and relevant. Something which slaps me in the face about how wrong I am when I see a group of alterna-teenagers looking at me funny as I try to "relate' with them about hair dye, tattoos, and The Smiths. Who the hell is My Morning Jacket, by the way and how come none of these kids know who The Misfits are?

True, I don't exactly look like someone who makes rice crispies treats and sends their kid to Montessori school and (soon) piano lessons, but we all knew that was going to be the case. Although secretly, I would have been thrilled beyond belief if, walking into the PTA meeting, I would have come face-to-face with a chunky 30-something alterna-mom who was stuck in the 80's and obsessed with VH-1 Classics. She wasn't there, but I did meet a very nice mom whose son and Dante seem to have "clicked".

It was fun being a parent at a PTA meeting. I got to ask about my child's progress, about his behavior, about him as a student. The most humbling slap back to reality was seeing Dante's "work folder" in which all of his art and writing projects are kept until they are sent home at the end of the month. Inside, I was greeted with the budding personality of my son, independent from me as his mom. I got to be "the parent", asking questions about what activity they were doing when this was made, that was made, and so on and so forth. And I got to be that parent who set aside a box here at home to put away the special art work my child produces throughout the years, so that when he is in his 30's I'll be able to give it to him to look at.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: I get it now, mom. I get it.


Kristy said...

I am going to tell you that it gets weirder as they progress in school. I got to a point where I decided that I was NOT going to PTA stuff anymore. They all seemed to be about fundraising and I feel like we raise funds when we pay our insanely high property tax bill. The freakiest thing I ever did was go in to meet with the principal . . . Although the guy appears to be about my age, I can't bring myself to call him, or any of the teachers anything but "Mr., Miss, or Mrs." whatever their names are. I still can't see myself as being allowed to call teachers and principals by their first names!

Diana said...

You are quite welcome, my darling daughter and ..... I TOLD YOU SO!!!!