Thursday, September 30, 2010

Back to School Night and Birthdays Don't Mix

Last night was back to school night and our teen's 15th birthday. The combination was not successful.

I'm generally the parent who deals with school-related activities. But we all decided that dad should meet our teen's teachers, too, and hear first hand about activities and expectations related to each course.

So we plotted carefully how to do a little celebrating in the hour or so we had before being seated in the first period classroom at 7 p.m. We all met at the designated restaurant which was mysteriously closed for the evening. We couldn't determine a substitute place we could all agree on that would also offer a fast enough meal. The result: our teen ate by herself at home while we went to school. It was -- emphatically -- not a good birthday.

It was a good opportunity for us, though, to gain a better sense of her teachers. We can now picture them when she describes something they have said or done. We can understand that she isn't exaggerating about the four-minute dash from one classroom to the next that often takes her to opposite ends of a sprawling, old building. And we can have a renewed sense of confidence that she is in a school that seems to have its values in place and is working hard to be the best it can be -- in academics, extracurricular activities, student support programs.

Now, to figure out how to make up for a rotten birthday.

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