Never mind that
all most of my friends are getting engaged. Last week, I got the chance to introduce my parents to the most important (middle school) men in my life: J. and T.
My parents had come into town to visit me, and seeing as how they're retired and have diddly-squat to do all day, agreed to come in and help me out in my classroom. (How kind of them. Really.)
But this wasn't just any old visit. Since they've chosen to spend their retirement traveling on a sailboat, I figured we could incorporate some social studies and geography in there somewhere. That, and using the fact they both used to be in the military to scare the living daylights out of the boys.
So we prepped. I had the boys practice shaking my hand, looking me in the eye, and introducing themselves. I instructed them that the only correct reply to questions contained ma'am or sir. I also had them prepare questions, which I had relatively low expectations for. I mean, these kids wouldn't really be able to grasp the concept of living on a boat, right?
Wrong. Their questions were awesome, and included the following:
How do you get fresh water?
How do you decide where you're going to travel?
What made you want to live on a boat in the first place?
When you were my age, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I would like to take full credit for their intelligent journalism, but I can't. It's all them.
An amazing transformation happened as soon as my parents walked in the door: the two boys who had just gotten in trouble for "hiding" their worksheets in the trash can transformed into shy, tongue-tied thirteen year olds who looked genuinely intimidated by my parents.
Minus the fact that my parents showed them embarrassing pictures of me (not unlike how they act when they meet a boyfriend for the first time), everything was perfect. I was proud of my boys, proud of my parents, and satisfied with myself for getting their behavior under control enough so that we could learn something new together.
And yes, maybe T. got a referral later for stealing some kid's pencil in Spanish class. But Rome wasn't built a day, right?