Two nights ago was Back-to-School night at my son's preschool. This is the first Back-to-School night I've attended as a parent and not a teacher. I had butterflies while blow drying my hair. My hands shook as I attempted eyeliner, then nixed any and all future plans of mascara. I was rushing around trying on shirts then flinging them to the mattress because they were too low cut, too high waisted, too 90s. My son came up to me and asked why I was in such a hurry. I glanced at the clock, saw there really was plenty of time and wondered why I was in such a hurry.
"I'm going to your school tonight," I told him.
"To talk to your teachers and sit in little chairs like you do."
"So I can see what you do every day."
"I play with magnets."
"Then I will find the magnets."
There it occurred to me why I was so nervous. I hadn't realized yet that I was showing up to this event as someone's mom and not their teacher. My nerves were in automatic (granted, four YEARS ago automatic but muscles do have incredible memory) while my body was stuck in overdrive like I probably was a few years back getting ready for events like this.
"You're on the other side now," I told myself.
It feels good to have finally arrived.
But I must admit I could not shake the urge to write on a wipe board or lead the discussion on Reggio inspired philosophies of education. Some day I will once again scurry and hurry as a teacher in vain to meet parents who are every bit as nervous as I am. But for now, I will try to enjoy being one of parents and keep my highlighters and sticker charts filed away for the future. A future that is beginning to beckon me back like an old friend with a warm cup of soup and a beautiful brand new Sharpie.