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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Parents are real people too!

You know how when you run into a student in public they act like it is the most bizarre thing in the world?

Like they can't quite believe you are a real person who has an actual life?

Well, I felt that way when I encountered a parent in an unexpected context the other day.

I went to the salon for a pre-first day hair cut.

My stylist is on maternity leave, so I was in the hands of her designated replacement.

As he washed my hair, we chatted about our respective lives.

I mentioned being a teacher, where I taught, and when school started.

Then it happened.

A woman with glasses stuck her head into my view and said "My son is going to that tomorrow!" in reference to the freshmen orientation being held the next morning.
Of course, I inquired about the name of her child, as I had looked over my rosters a few times.

She told me his first name.

It didn't ring a bell.

I asked for his surname,

She told me, and I recognized it.

I told her he would be in my class, and then, of course, mentioned NaNoWriMo.

That clicked for her.

Apparently, she and her son had already visited the school, had a tour, and discussed his schedule with the SSD coordinator.

Not that it matters, but her son is autistic.

Anyway, the SSD coordinator had mentioned my project as they toured the building.

This parent recalled the project because her son is extremely excited about it.

I introduced myself from my soapy headed position leaned back over the sink.

The next morning, she and her son appeared at my classroom door.

She was right. He is really really excited about writing a novel.

Right away, I can see that he struggles to stand still or make eye contact.

No problem. He also clearly has a good attitude.

If it was weird to him that I had already met his mother, he hid it well.

We talked a bit about supplies and accommodations.

And still, I couldn't quite shake that weird feeling.

Parents are real people with actual lives and one of them works at the salon I go to.

I guess she could sense how discomfited I felt, because before she left, she said "You aren't the first teacher who goes to a salon I have worked in" and winked at me.

I think that is a good thing.

It still feels weird though. Just saying.

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What do you think? Does this good thing remind you of a story of your own? Have a question or comment? Please leave a comment!