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Clearly I'm Never Going To Live This Down

Tuesday night was Curriculum Night at the
elementary school – a chance for the educators to sit down
with parents and fill us all in on what exactly’s being
taught during the day. It’s not a night for one-on-ones with
the teachers, but in addition to covering curriculum it is an
opportunity for the school staff to reinforce some important rules
and regulations to the new school parents.

I was teaching Tuesday night and was not able to be there, and you
can imagine how worried I was about not having the chance to
micro-manage that scenario. Poor Brian was less than enthusiastic
about being our token parenting unit, knowing that no matter how
hard he listened he was bound to be unable to answer EVERY QUESTION
I’d have about the event during my post-game debriefing.
Fortunately, my friend Mary went along and sat next to Brian,
taking notes on my behalf on the things she thought I might find
important that Brian may miss.

So this is how Brian and Mary came to be
sitting next to each other as the staff stood up and reviewed basic
school policy. And wouldn’t you know it, the whole
“don’t stalk your kids on the playground during
recess” thing came up. Now, all my friends know I did this on
the first day of school, partly because I promptly reported to them
that their children looked healthy and happy, and partly because I
love telling a good story, even one in which I look like an ass.
And my friend who rode in the car with me was sitting right in
front of Brian and Mary, and began to squirm when the teachers
started talking about this.

“We’re just asking you to not stop and watch the kids
while they play – it creeps us out,” the administrator
continued. “One of the parents even took pictures.”
Next to Brian, Mary gasped, thoroughly freaked out at the thought
of a stranger taking photos of her baby, possibly for nefarious
purposes. Her adrenalin began pumping, her blood began boiling.

And then Brian leaned over to Mary and whispered behind his hand,
“That would be Jennifer.”

Yes, I did it. I took pictures of my kid at her first recess on her
first day of school. And yes, I took pictures of all my
friends’ kids, so I could prove to them that their kids were
also happy and content. And yes, my friend with me in the car did
start writhing in her seat, shrieking, “What are you doing!
Don’t take pictures! Are you crazy!”

And yes, I was so intent on witnessing my daughter’s
adjustment to school that it never once occurred to me that a
grown-up with a camera, taking photos of little children, might
come across as, well, creepy.

So there it is. Apparently I’m already part of the school
legends – as in, “One parent EVEN took PICTURES!”
I can only hope I remain at least dimly anonymous, and that it
won’t be discovered in my criminal background check when I
apply to be a field trip mom. Go ahead, mock away.

But for all my friends out there – admit it. You’re
dying to see those photos of your kids at play.


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