I’d like to start this blog post with a little scene.
Setting: Hallway at Ursa Major’s drop-off playgroup. I’ve got Ursa Minor on my hip, and I’ve run into Ursa Major’s individual coordinator. I wave on my way out to the car. She stops what she’s doing to say hello. We’ll call her Dakota.
As Dakota approaches (she’s a few strides away), her face scrunches in concern. She reaches me with that concern all over her face.: “Hey, how are you doing?”
I am oblivious.: “Hey. I’m alright. You know, I mean, I’m a little tired.”
Dakota nods knowingly, warmly.: “Yeah, it really shows. You really look it.”
Fantastic. I look like I’m exhausted. Well, I am exhausted. NOT ENOUGH SLEEP MAKES YOU EXHAUSTED.
But whatever, I’m cool.
I’m exhausted, but I have my first official preschool meeting tonight. Adults only, so I have to do this by myself–no husband, no children. This is a big meeting, too–we find out our “jobs” as parents for the year. We’re also getting a crazy huge packet full of all of the details: The school calendar, various policies, etc etc. I’m also assuming that they are going to introduce the new families to the current families. In other words, tonight’s a big flipping deal. So I’m writing this having taken a shower and shaved my legs (they weren’t that bad), and I gave myself a freaking pedi because I wasn’t able to get to the shop. The toes look presentable, but not good. Like when you throw everything in the closet and all the dishes in the sink when unexpected company comes to the door. They see the mess but they politely decline to say anything. You tell yourself it doesn’t look that bad. That’s my feet look like. At some point, I’m going to have to put myself into real clothes (not mom clothes) and pin up this hair and put on a smile and head out the door. But dinner has to be made first, soooooo…
To make everything more interesting, I get an e-mail on Sunday morning from our “host family” at the school. Basically, they were thoughtful enough to give me someone to sit next to at the meeting. I was relieved…until I read the email more closely. She invited us to brunch sometime…and her three children have fancy boutique names. Seriously boutique names. My sons have classic Greek names. They’re pretentious. They scream “Our parents are middle class and aspire to be more and will never make enough money to justify why they named us these names.” The names that this woman gave her children? They’re “Yeah, no, we’re not 1% but we’re closer than you’ll ever be.”
So I show The Husband the e-mail and he starts snickering. “You chose this school,” he says to me. “So you get what you get.”
I have no argument against that. All of those things are true.
“Wait till they get a load of us,” He keeps laughing. “We’re gonna blow their minds.”
So I started the mind-blowing a little bit early. I sent her a nice e-mail explaining my nervousness and my gratefulness for her reaching out to me. Then I made a conscious decision: I attached a picture of the four of us. I wanted to be really clear about who we are and what this is.
Now, I don’t really know who this woman is or what her deal is. She sent me an e-mail back that revealed interesting hobbies and tidbits. She and I might actually be good friends. I’m just sharing that first initial impression–I feel like I’m out of my league, and I haven’t even put my foot on the threshold.
I’m not going to faint if I’m the only person of color at this meeting tonight. Indeed, I’m expecting it. I don’t want to send my sons to a segregated school, but I realize that what I want and need will most likely yield schools of one particular hue. Indeed, to get a school that is high quality and a good mix of diversity, I need to shell out $18k. I don’t expect to walk into a hostile room… I just want at least one person to be expecting to see me there. So that when everyone else is coming up with something to say, I’m hoping that she’ll come up and be cool.
Because I need someone to be cool tonight. That’s all I need.
I don’t really know what to expect. I am praying that I love what I hear tonight, because I’m stuck with this place for a year.
I hope that I have good news to write on Friday. I’ll give the complete rundown then!