As a Stay at Home Mom, I take my children's successes and failures very personally. I know I shouldn't, but I do; I mean since all I really do 24/7 is raise these kids how can they NOT be a reflection on me? For that reason, teacher conferences tend to be the highlight of my month.
Generally I have a pretty good clue what to expect before any teacher conference. Especially when my kids are still in preschool; their proficiency with scissors, hopping on one foot, and napkin handing out, well, not to brag but they are legendary. That's why Noa's Pre-K conference was such a surprise.
"Noa is doing so well this year. She's picked up a lot of Hebrew words and knows all her letters and sounds. "
(I shrug modestly and smile.)
"But really, I wanted to tell you how impressed I am with how well you handle your situation. Not a lot of mothers could do that."
(I smile and nod and think about all the great things I do for my kids, and wonder exactly what situation she means)
" I could never live across the street for my husband's first wife and help raise their teenage daughter."
(I know, I am so awesome. Wait a second, WHAT?)
Turns out that Noa had been telling her teachers about her 16 year old half sister named Madeline who lived across the street. Everyday at circle time for 5 months Noa would share with her class detailed stories about things she had done with her half sister Madeline. Her teachers assumed that my husband had been married before, fathered a child, divorced, remarried, had 3 more children and moved across the street from his daughter and first wife.(2) None of this is even remotely true. Noa let them think it was. At 4.
Can you even imagine what I'll be saying at 13?
I still enjoy teacher conferences but I do approach them a little more cautiously these days.
(Below are footnotes, by the way. That's what those numbers mean. Blogger does not seem to like footnotes and I do so we will need to iron that out between us)
1 My plan is to sweep every category in the 2008 Weblogs
2 Had this not been a Jewish preschool, the obvious guess would have been bigamy.