We clearly have a communication issue.
I was sifting through 8-year-old Katie's backpack, looking for traces of the education I KNOW she's getting, when I found a scrap of paper on which she'd written "bring snack tommorwo" (She's generally a great speller, but you could tell she'd gotten ahead of herself.)
First of all, it was already 8 o'clock at night, the time for running to the store was past. Second of all, what, exactly, did "tomorrow" mean? Really. It was like those signs I've seen at restaurants that say "free food tomorrow," except in school life, tomorrow actually does come.
Did I miss it? Was I expected to do something for the next day?
I was considering the merits of a homemade snack mix consisting of Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, leftover Easter candy, fish crackers, rice and macaroni noodles.
Desperate times, and all that.
Of course, I could kiss the welcoming greeting I get from Katie's classmates goodbye if I showed up with raw noodles combined with anything.
Katie didn't help. She wasn't sure when she wrote the note, either.
So, I was the bad parent and opted to send nothing, forcing the teacher to dig into the snack supply.
I will make up for it, though, sending several GOOD snack options to choose from to cover for those days when other unsuspecting parents, at the 11th hour, stumble across a note that reads, "bring snack tommorwo."
There are a few other things that I'm missing about this school thing.
Recess is clearly the cornerstone of a happy day at school. We've discussed that.
So, I didn't expect as much enthusiasm for anything else related to their education. Field trips being an exception.
Boy, I was wrong.
Three weeks into the school year, a flier comes home announcing the first open house of the year. It's on a night that I absolutely can't make it.
Not a huge deal, right? I'll have other opportunities to meet their teachers (who I'm fairly familiar with anyway) and tour their classrooms.
When I said we weren't going to make it, there were tears.
On the night that it occurred and they realized they didn't make it, there were more tears.
I promised that we'd make it to school early the next day so they could show me around their classrooms.
Wow. That is a BIG deal.
Not since the first day of school did they make as much of an effort to get out of bed. Granted, it didn't make much difference. We still arrived with barely enough time to do two classrooms, but I was committed.
It was such a joy to them to show me where they sat. What books they enjoyed, how the teacher let them know when their behavior was stellar and when it wasn't. There were magnets on the wall outlining which child was responsible for what job that week.
It showed me the things they thought important and the things they take pride in.
It showed them that I cared about those things, even when we sometimes don't have the time to do them the way everyone else does.
I'd like to say we bonded and recommitted to education.
I will say that, actually, and that warm, fuzzy feeling took me through the day.
It ended, of course, the minute I yelled "homework," and Katie and I sat down to begin our nightly battle over the difficulties of math.
I guess we'll always have that morning.
But, damn, those memories get overwritten fast!