On crying at a parent-teacher conference

I had Sam’s parent-teacher conference yesterday.

He’s 4-years-old.

If it’s already this nerve-wracking, I’m not sure how I’m going to get through the next 13 years of this (17 years if we’re counting Kit).

I’m not going to bore you with details but Sam’s teacher was exceedingly complimentary of our boy, which is what I was expecting as Sam is a great kid. He’s interested in learning. He’s well-behaved, loving and funny. He’s a joy to parent. And she said he’s a joy to teach.

Boy, is it ever hard and uncomfortable for me to write that.

Nat and I come from a slightly buttoned-up culture where we aren’t supposed to brag about our children. Or even really talk about their accomplishments. It’s considered in bad taste. I feel weird telling my in-laws or my brother or even my parents about Sam’s doings. Because, well, kids who aren’t your own are kind of boring.  I know that. His various achievements aren’t Mozart-level. He’s just doing well for a little kid. Is that really newsworthy?

As such, Nat and I kind of keep the day to day minutia of raising children between the two of us (and now, I guess, you, the person who is reading this. Again, I feel so uncomfortable even writing this post). We are deep in the parenting foxhole, with just each other to really lean on.

Anyway, it was so nice to hear his teacher say nice things about him, I started crying.

Reader, I can’t even begin to explain how great it was to hear from someone  who spends a lot of time with Sam compliment him. It was a flood of relief from this low-grade anxiety I didn’t even know I was carrying around. But I guess when you become a parent, you are always on edge, even if you don’t know you are?

I didn’t tell Nat that I started crying as, well, YUCK. EMOTION.EMOTION REGARDING YOUR CHILD? DOUBLE YUCK.

(Just so you know where we are coming from,  the other day, Nat joked that he was happy that I kiss and hug the kids so much because showing that kind of physical affection doesn’t come naturally to him even though he’s the most devoted and hands-on father I’ve ever witnessed. But don’t tell him, lest he think I’m bragging about him.)

Anyway, this is a long, meandering post to say that apparently this was a natural feeling as a mom friend texted me after her parent-teacher conference that she almost started crying she was so proud.

If I’m this emotional over a parent-teacher conference, what am I going to be like when he inevitably disappoints me? I shudder to think.


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