The Wonders of Open House

Last night was the Middle School Open House.

I really did not want to go.  Ohmygoodnesssplease I could think of a million other things to do than run around the middle school from 7 to 9:30 pm on a weeknight.

I would have looked for a way out of it, except for one reason: Jordan.

He has always been obsessed with me attending Open House.


My sarcastic, class clown-the very child you would think would call in the National Guard to keep me from standing face to face with a teacher- is devastated if I don’t go.

I missed one when I was attending grad school a few year ago, and I sent my mom instead.

I’m still hearing about it today.

In fact Wednesday night, Jordan said, “You know mom, Open House is this week, but I am SURE you won’t go and you will send Nana instead.”

Jordan will be 40 years old and in therapy because I missed the Open House in 2007 when he was in 5th grade.

Middle School Open House, unlike Elementary School where you exchange pleasantries with the teacher and can make a bee-line for the door, involves actually following the child’s schedule, 15 minutes per class. No skipping. They even ring the bells. You sit in each class for 15 minutes, bell rings, dismissed, next class.

I kept asking Jordan, “and WHEN is study hall? What about lunch, do we get to do that?” He was not at all amused.

Here are the 3 things I learned during my Middle School session:

1.) Everyone is meant for some career, thank goodness my chosen profession was not to be a Middle School teacher. I love my kids. I even love some of their friends. But, I would rather discuss COBRA legislation for 8 hours than teach pre-teens all day. To all the Middle School teachers, thank you, I could never do that job without keeping a whiskey flask hidden in my desk drawer.

2.) I never realized how much kids look like their parents until I was in a room full of parents and mini-me’s. It reminded me of those news stories about how dogs and their owners look alike. Big, round dad, big round kid. String bean mom, string bean kid. Mom wearing more make up than Zsa Zsa Gabor, well, you get the picture.

3.) You find out all sorts of social things about your kids at Open House. Jordan and I passed Chase outside and Jordan, who never has to worry about being tortured by the CIA because all you do is look at him and say BOO! and he sings like a canary, whispered to me, “that’s his new girlfriend with him.” WHOA. I didn’t even know know he had a new girlfriend! I stopped short, nearly got myself half trampled to death by the other parents, and ran back to look out the window like the Mervyn’s lady, my face all smushed up to the glass, and tried to peek outside where they were to get a look at the new girl.

There were hand slaps in the hall, high fives, all kinds of kids trying to be ultra cool. It was too much. The hall passing was way more fun than listening to the teachers talk. Except some parent who seemed to have the same schedule as we did apparently decided to douse themselves in a 1970’s era musk cologne so every time we were in the hall, I thought for sure my grandfather was nearby.

Ultimately, I was glad I went.

I can now put names with faces when the teachers start calling for homework.

Every teacher now has my e-mail address, it’s okay, I’m ready.

And, most importantly, I now know my eighth grader is hooked up with a high school freshman.

Forget the teachers, I want the contact information for her parents.

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