Listen up fellow marchers on the path toward wrinkles and grey hairs. I have discovered the fountain of youth. It really does exist!
All it takes is showing up for parent/teacher conference night at your kid’s school, and you too can feel like you ought to be wearing short pants again.
I could blame the chairs, so tiny beside your body that you get an idea of how Gulliver felt around the Lilliputians. I half expected the seat to cave beneath my behind, four legs splaying outward, small plastic square meant for a child’s hiney smashing to the floor in loud protest.
If only that was the end of the worries.
The door to the classroom closed (we were early), perching carefully on those chairs, it was hard not to recall with a shudder the threat of being “kicked out” of the classroom. Being sent to sit in the hall was – in its own way – as horrifying for a kid as being frogmarched to the principal’s office. Huddled there, waiting with no clock to mark the passage of time, you were left with nothing to do but think of the possible punishment awaiting you. If you think a child can come up with creative ways to get themselves in trouble, it has nothing on the methods of castigation their minds can conjure up.
And then my stomach rumbled, and I did it.
I reached into my purse and pulled out the pack of gum kept there for moments such as this. A breath freshener. A bit of flavor to tide me over.
No sooner had I popped it in my mouth when I remembered: I was eating gum! In the hall! In an elementary school!
What was next? Would I cut the cafeteria line? Run in the hallway? Talk out of turn; without raising my hand?
If you want to feel young, it doesn’t take much. Just take a whiff of freshly sharpened pencil, and you’ll be right back there . . . and eager to get it all over with . . . and fast.
Do you feel like a kid when you go to your kid’s school?
Image via frankjuarez/Flickr