Last week, there was a mandatory parent-child meeting for 8th grade confirmation students. We missed it, being in Alabama.
Last night, there was a make-up meeting for the half dozen of us who didn’t make it. It began at 6:15, 45 minutes before the start of the first class. Yes, things are in full swing here: football, Scouts, CCD, ballet, piano. We are back to school.
The meeting covered all the basics that DREs, unfortunately, need to cover: class attendance is required, Mass attendance is required, etc. We went over the no-electronic-devices policy and the consequence of immediate confiscation until a parent asks for the return if a student is texting or surfing the web during class. To help keep temptation at bay, they have a basket in which students can place their phones at the beginning of class.
Immediately after the DRE went over the cell phone rules, my cell phone rang. Small room, and I was right in front of the DRE. It was Bill, and I was able to quickly “ignore” his call and put my phone on vibrate, which was good because after I failed to answer he called again. The timing was perfect.
After the meeting, I called him back, and he was very apologetic having remembered where I was and why I wasn’t answering. The whole thing was too funny for me to be annoyed.
Class goes until 8:30. I went to the grocery store and got back a few minutes early. Like any good Catholic parking lot, cars were backed into spots or lined up ready for a quick getaway. Since Fritz did not attend CCD last year, we didn’t have a pre-arranged pickup plan. I decided to go into the parish center where the classrooms are, and wait for him there.
As he came out of the classroom, the pastor and the teacher were reminding the students: “Don’t forget your phones!”
“Don’t forget your phone,” I said to Fritz.
“I didn’t bring the phone,” he said, looking at me as though I had lost my marbles, since, of course, I knew he didn’t have the “kid phone” we finally broke down and bought.
“Would you like to bring that phone every week so that you can drop it in the basket like everybody else?”
“No.” Now he was sure I was crazy. But I moved the conversation along.
“Do you want me to come in when I pick you up?” I asked.
“Into the classroom?” I detected a note of worry.
“No…into the parish center. Or would you prefer that we figure out a meeting place in the parking lot?”
“Oh, I don’t care,” he said, relieved that I wasn’t coming into the classroom.
“I’m just asking because lots of kids your age are embarrassed by their parents. Do I embarrass you?”
“Not all the time,” he said.
Aha. This is the first time he admitted being embarrassed at all. I have tried really hard not to be too kissy/huggy at drop offs to camp, but he seriously can’t expect his mother to not tell her son she loves him before he goes away for a whole week, right?
I’m just happy that I only embarrass him some of the time. I’m also happy I wasn’t the only parent going inside for pickup.