Tonight my last Back to School night ever. John chose not to come. "I ran into my best student ever on the street and asked him, do you think I should go to the Back to School Night for a senior?' And he said, no, he didn't." So I went without him. As Kevin Smith once said to me, -- actually, one of my very favorite things that Kevin has ever said to me, "Don't let him harsh your buzz."
For me it's a trip. Seeing where my son spends his days. Hearing and seeing the teachers, many of whom are babies themselves. Seeing how very into it they are. And happy about that. Meeting some of the parents of the kids who are his pals. Robert, one of the better parent friends from Lacrosse says, you have to meet the ___s" And I'm like, hi, whose your child? until I realize they're the parents of my son's new girlfriend, that I've only vaguely, kinda heard about. All I know is she's is adorable, hardworking, and has a big role in the football spectacle. We have a great time chatting. Earlier I sit next to the one kid in the room, one of the few kids whose quite at home in our house. A great kid. I'm feeling familiar, egging her on to take the floor, comfortable chatting. When she gets up to address the parents I ask the woman who's been next to her who she is? "I'm her mom." Ohhhhh. Of course. The kid hadn't introduced us and it hadn't occurred to me from their rapport or looks. And she hadn't mentioned it herself though she knows my son. Funny. Fun. I've been here long enough now to see some familiar faces even just passing in the hall. We smile and stammer phrases as we hoof it to the next ten minute period. I like moving through the throngs as we change periods. These Austin public school parents feel familiar. Look familiar. More my peer group aesthetically than the group I left behind. I feel a lot of gratitude. The teachers for the most part, love our guy. As they have since Kindergarten. He's a teacher's dream - smart, funny, eager to learn, conscientious, but a real kid, not a toady.
It's a wistful fall as it's delicious. The last one in High School. The AP English teacher who my son thinks I'll love, and who I do, says, "I wish it was as easy for them to get into college as it was for us -- but it's not! I'll do what I can to help them and you, through the process.