Divide and Conquer

school_houseTonight was officially “Parents Night” at our local elementary school, and for the first time we had two classrooms to visit at the same time, so we decided to divide and conquer, with one of us heading to third grade and the other off to kindergarten. My wife gave Alexa the choice of who she wanted to visit her classroom, and to my ultimate delight she chose me. I was a little surprised because I know how close she is with my wife, but it showed that she also values her relationship with me. Besides, I figured I’d get the slightly larger desks, and you know how long my legs are.

It turned out not to matter, though, because the desk was still mighty cramped, but anyone can fight through that kind of pain for 30 minutes… for their child. As I looked around the classroom I recognized several of the other parents there, as our children have grown up together in the same school system lo these four (and in some cases five) school years. I smiled at them and they at me. I introduced myself to the teacher, who I had never previously met.

“Welcome to third grade,” she told me as we shook hands.

“It’s good to be here,” I answered, glancing at the paperwork on the table.

“Alexa sits in the front, and she left a letter for you,” she said, pointing me towards the front row of desks.

“Now, how did you know Alexa was mine?” I asked, smiling at her.

I guess it was pretty obvious, considering she’s the only child of mixed race in the room, and I was the only African-American parent there, so it was a joke on my part, but it broke the ice. It made me glad she has a teacher with a sense of humor, or who at least humored me. I wondered how my wife was making out downstairs in Madeline’s class, but she’s a foot shorter than I am so I figured she was at least fitting in a bit better with the smaller desks.

You know, it all worked out too because my wife is the one who knows more about the therapies that Madeline receives, and knows the questions to ask on that front. It turns out she had just as good a time as I did, and was able to get the full experience without rushing from one room to the next like I saw some parents doing who have multiple children. When the third grade presentation was done, I wandered the classroom looking at all the wonderful things Alexa had already done that were all over the room, and talking with some of the other parents.

And I think it’s going to be a good year. When I met up with my wife afterwards downstairs we compared notes from the experience and we patted ourselves on the back for being able to pull off the old “divide and conquer” routine. Now, if we could only learn a few competitive dance moves…



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