Monday, November 7, 2011

Parents DO Just Understand (Sorry Fresh Prince)

Last week, I'd had about enough of T. I was over the backtalk, the teeth-sucking, and the whole ignoring me when I was talking thing. (Listen, dude. If I wanted to put up with this for barely any money I'd have my own kid. Now sit down. And STOP TALKKKIIIINNNNG. Please.)

So I called Dad. (His dad, not mine.) Dad's a truck driver and spends weeks at a time on the road. Luckily, he was home, so I explained what was going on (basically: your son won't quit actin' a fool) and asked him for his advice.

His answer? "I'll be down there tomorrow. Don't tell him I'm coming.)

I hung up the phone and wondered what I'd gotten myself into. Was he coming down with a belt to show T. a thing or two in front of the whole class? Was he going to fuss at me for not being able to keep his son in line? Were we all doomed? (Teaching middle school has done nothing to help ease my dramatic nature.)

And come down he did. I met him in the hallway, pleaded for my life shook his hand, and invited him into our classroom.

The look on T.'s face? P-R-I-C-E-L-E-S-S.

His dad didn't yell. He didn't fuss. He didn't scream. He simply sat down next to T. and listened quietly as we finished our reading lesson for the day. (T.'s hands were trembling every time he turned the page, which I thought was fair retribution for all the tooth-sucking that had occurred.)

He sat with us during lunch and gave T. and J. a heartfelt talk about the importance of education and the regrets he has about his own life. I was in awe. In 10 minutes, he beautifully summed up what I had been trying to get across to them for 10 weeks. 

Which made me realize something: every parent, no matter who they are or where they live, wants one simple thing: for their child to have a better, happier, and more burden-free life than they did. While none of them are perfect, they are simply doing the best that they can with the cards they've got, and praying that their children get dealt a better hand. I felt very lucky to spend my afternoon with this wise, slightly intimidating, caring man who brought one of my favorite people into the world.

Also, it didn't hurt that his mere presence in the classroom scared the crap out of T. I have a feeling things are about to get a whole lot easier in my classroom...


College Prepster said...

This was honestly an amazing post! Loved the message!


Haughty by Nature said...

Thanks for the love College Prepster!

sSe said...

This is the reason I love blogging! Stories like this are so inspirational! I'm certain you'll never forget this!

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