Parent-Teacher conference night is tonight. I’m nervous about my father’s presence but I know he’ll get involved as he does every year. When we arrive, we move to the back of the class so he can sit discretely away from the other parents. It’s obvious he doesn’t want to be center of attention as his body hangs from the sides of the chair/desk combination.
Despite his discomfort, he is very passionate about being a part of the conversation. I always sit quietly and embarrassed as my classmates silently stare at his size. I know he’s a big man, probably pushing 320lbs, nearly double the size of their parents. And even though they stare quietly I know their mind is screaming with comments like “Her father is fat!” And I know tomorrow during class they can’t wait to tease me about it. I look at dad and he doesn’t seem to mind, at least I don’t think so. But then again he’s very good at showing his game face in tight situations.
“Parents feel free to visit during regular class hours,” Ms Benedict assures the parents. “You are more than welcome to sit in to see what we’re learning.”
My father’s ears perk up and he looks at me. That was all he needed…an open invitation to come back and squeeze back in the tight desk; all in the name of good parenting. I put my head on the desk, hiding the embarrassment. Gerald looked back at dad quickly. I knew he was curious to see if dad would accept the invite.
After the meeting, dad is the last to squeeze his big body from the desk to shake Ms. Benedict’s hand. The embarrassment that I felt earlier bothered me so much that I wished the makers of the desk/chair combo would hang! Although a part of me couldn’t help but blame dad for getting so big. [Sigh] I just wish that something as simple as a parent/teacher conference wasn’t so difficult to sit through.