I went to my kids parents night at their school. It was really cute and also weird… post-COVID. For one, I was inside my sons school. We were allowed inside at the very end of last school year, with masks. Tonight was a normal parents night though. No masks. Teachers. Desks. No social distancing. There is still a no food rule, which is fine, but it was just totally normal. In a super NOT normal way.
For two years normal became not socializing. Masks. Fear. Then we are all just supposed to bounce back. It was bizarre.
I sat in my sons desks. I had to go back and forth between two classrooms and two teachers doing the first grade presentations at the same time…which was fun. I recognized other parents, and said hi to them, and we talked about our kids. Without masks. Inside a building. In our kids classrooms.
When I was walking out, I had to park far away, and as I was walking to my car I passed, well almost everyone, but specifically two parents talking who I know- but it’s that kind of know when we are friends but new friends so it’s still kinda awkward or at least I’m still kind of awkward I also didn’t make friends for two years…pandemic…so I’m more awkward than normal…so there I am.
Walking toward my car and I actually think to myself- because they are talking- do I say hi? Do I wave? Do I pretend I don’t see them? Ugh! I can’t pretend I don’t see them. I have to walk within a foot of them. I say “hi guys,” as I approach, and keep walking. They say hi, how are you, and I answer and keep walking and they resume conversation, totally chill, and I’m like why was that so weird? Why did that make me so anxious? I literally just sat with both of them at a kids birthday party last weekend.
Oh yea. I haven’t had to “people” in over two years. That’s why. I’m out of practice. I was never good at “people-ing” pre-pandemic and then take away two years of forced socialization and not just allow but encourage isolation…yeah. I need some practice.
How bizarre though that there is this point in my life where I have to remember how to socialize. I have to retrain my brain to engage with people instead of hide from them. I also sat next to a dad who is as socially awkward as I am. We ran a field day station together in the Spring. I love socially awkward people. We can sit in comfortable silence. We acknowledge one another, hello, how are you, good, great, silence.
So aside from my mind blowing socialization situations I also learned the teachers know my sons. One son is sitting in the back row, furthest from the teacher, and he is there because he is incredibly obedient and I know he can be trusted to be far away from the teacher. My other son…is front row center. I was always a kid that could be back row. Very quiet. Very obedient. My other son- the front row center- not obedient. Pleasant. Polite-ish. But not back row obedient material.
Front row son has a broken arm. It’s been a long horrible week honestly. So today was his first day back to school. And the teacher told me she heard the girl next to him (who I know b/c we went to her bday party last school year) told him today after they got their lunchboxes for snack, “Whatever you need I’m here for you,” and then opened his lunchbox and juice box straw for him. Melt my damn heart.
I’ve also been told by his teacher he has been doing great and extremely well behaved. I laughed and said, “Keep him in the front. No matter how well behaved he acts for no matter how long.” She smiled and said, “Yeah, I kinda got that vibe.”
So I am learning how to socialize again, and it doesn’t feel bad. Just weird. And terrifying. But not bad.
Of course there was the one parent who asked about lockdown drills and I had to remember mass school shootings are a thing; even though I had already scoped out the room and noted two exits and my immediate thought had been if there is ever a shooter they have a way out…totally cool having that thought as a parent of a 6 yr old.
#IlovetheUSA #gunssuck #fucktheNRA