Michael had a Halloween Parade/Party at his school on Friday. Andy and I both left work early so we could see all the kids get dressed up and walk around the playground. It was super cute, and clearly a big hit with all of the kids. It also gave me a chance to see how Michael interacts with the other children and the teachers at his school. After seeing Michael's teacher with the kids for an hour, I have to say that I like her more and more. She has a good balance between compassion and structure that seems to work well for Michael.
After the parade, the kids all went back to their rooms for snacks and then several children in Michael's class read to the group. Michael was one of the children and I have to say I was very proud watching my little Spiderman read to a room full of friends and strangers. Michael seemed to enjoy doing the reading as well, and overall the party was a success.
However, there was one very awkward moment. When the kids came back to the room it was really loud and confusing. There were a number of siblings at the party as well, and it was difficult to fit all the kids in at the table. When Michael went over to the table, there was only one seat left and it was being blocked by another parent who was dealing with her daughter. Michael just stood there staring at the table for a minute and then would glance around for help trying to figure out what to do. I could tell he wanted to find a seat, but he wasn't sure about what to do.
Jump back to November 1977. My school had a Thanksgiving party for the kids and their parents. We all dressed up as Pilgrims and Indians. (Yes, I'm old enough that when I was a kid they still used the term Indians for Native Americans.) Each class sat together on the gym floor and we had our Thanksgiving meal sitting in a circle on the floor. Every class had a skit to perform, and our's took place in the middle of our meal. We all got up and moved to the stage for our skit. When we were done, some kids returned to our seats and others goofed around or stopped to say hi to their parents. You know, a typical kindergarten kind of event.
I was one of the kids who went right back to my spot and had a little more of my snack. As I was sitting there eating, I realized that I had sat down at the wrong spot and I had drunk milk from another child's carton. If anyone noticed, no one let on to my mistake, however, I was embarrassed all the same. In fact, I was so embarrassed that I started to get butterflies in my tummy. I tried to sit back down at my own spot, but I was too upset about it to calm down. I finally ended up finding my mom and begged her to take me home, which she did.
That's the memory that hit me while I watched Michael stand back and try and figure out how to navigate the chaos of the Halloween party. I stood back for a moment to see if he could work it out on his own, and I'm sure that if I wasn't there, something would have resolved the matter. Maybe in the long run, that would have been the best thing for him, however, I couldn't just stand back and watch. I finally went to him and helped him find the one open seat and asked the mother to move so Michael could actually sit down.
The rest of the party was good. Michael did just fine reading in front of the entire group. Aside from that one moment, it was all fun and games. I would imagine that Michael has already forgotten that one little awkward moment. But, I was left surprised at how watching such an innocent scene brought back such a strong memory for me.
Sometimes, parenthood is a strange trip.