Had to get it off my chest...


We all have to deal with unpleasant situations. The moments that stress us out for a little while, make us bite our nails off, pull out hair or eat like a monster (if that's how you deal with that sort of thing). When your moment comes, you get the task done with sweaty palms and nervous giggles, and then it's over and you wonder what you were so worried about. That has to be the best feeling in the world. Closure.

For me, some of the most unpleasant situations I can remember is speech time. I remember my grade 6 speech had me completely frazzled. I had no idea what to talk about. I was (and still am) horribly shy and kind of the weirdo (only like not Screech weird). So the speech was the next day and I didn't have a word written down on my 3x5 cue card - not. a. word. So I cried, and my mom decided that she was going to help.

So she went and got our newest issue of Time magazine. Why we were subscribers of Time magazine, I will never know. All I know is that we had every single issue of that magazine littering our bathroom (I know....) and I don't think a single soul read the thing. It's not even like we were just subscribed for a year to get the fundraising kids selling magazines off our porch, we had that magazine every single year.

Mom went to work feverishly, writing my 6 minute speech on none other than David Koresh. So while everybody else wrote about bubblegum and fairies and sports, I stood in front of that class for 6 minutes and spoke about a criminal who killed 74 people, all so recently (or at least within that Time magazine issue time span). It didn't go very well. Not only did I not write a word of it, but neither did my mom, turns out she copied the article from the magazine (thanks mom!), changing the sentences ever so slightly so not to seem so plagiarized.

I think my grade 7 speech was about running shoes. Seemed like a safer subject.

So if you haven't guessed, I have been dealing with my own personal unpleasant situation as of late. Mason just started kindergarten for those who are just joining in on this crazy adventure. With a new school, comes having to explain that he doesn't have a father, which is never an easy task to do. I figured I had some time before they started talking about families before my little 5-year-old raised his hands and started talking about his dead father and how heaven has good food. I really wanted to save this poor teacher the awkward situation of having to hear the shocking news from the mouth of a 5 year old who has no trouble blurting it out anywhere at any time, and also with a comment on the food situation up in heaven. It can be a little awkward, especially in front of a group of 5 year olds.

I tried to tell the teacher (whom my son lovingly refers to by her last name only -sans Mrs, which I adore) when I met her the first time, but I chickened out completely. Not an easy thing to bring up when you're talking about school stuff.

Then I thought about writing a note and leaving it in his message bag for the teacher, but I remembered what happened the last time I broke that kind of news in a note and it didn't really work for me.

Mason had been in daycare for a couple months, we had put him in daycare while R. was sick. We were having a hard time coping with the nurses, PSWs and all the appointments at the cancer clinic without daycare, not to mention things were not the greatest at the house when it came to entertaining a 1 year old, and even though I didn't agree at first, it seemed like the right thing to do in the end.

The night after R. had died things became a whirlwind. Normally I would have kept Mason home with me, but there was so much to do, funeral arrangements, flowers, clothes to be buried in, stuff I never even thought of before he had died. I meant to tell the daycare teachers when I dropped him off, but I was having a hard time talking to people without bursting into tears, which I hate doing (obviously) so I wrote on Mason's sign in sheet that his father had died the night before under "Special Information" and left. Of course they called when they saw what I had wrote and I burst into tears over the phone, but it saved the awkwardness of crying in front of 10 babies and 3 teachers who I really hadn't known that long.

So writing a note just seemed a little too impersonal this time. I'm not at any risk of bursting into tears anymore, I think I'm past that stage (finally). So my plan was to tell her at the parent/teacher BBQ.

I was a nervous wreck all day long. Thinking of how I would bring up such a sensitive subject. I looked around the BBQ but couldn't find her, which made me even more nervous because if she wasn't there I would either have to write the dreaded note or set-up an interview, and fast because I just know my little blabbermouth wouldn't be able to keep that juicy tidbit of info in for long.

When we finally did see her, she greeted us with small chat. I chickened out. Again. I couldn't say it! So I decided to turn around and go in for another round. I found her again and brought up something stupid, I can't even remember now, I think it was a fact about the school or something. I almost chickened out again. In fact, she had her back turned and was walking away....and then I had a Ralphie moment.

You know, in A Christmas Story when he goes to see Santa at the department store and chickens out and can't ask for what he really wants (Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle) so he ends up agreeing to a football. When Santa's elf pushes him down the slide he crawls back up and asks for what he really wants....and that was me. I climbed back up that slide and dropped the bomb on the poor old teacher.

"Umm...I just wanted you to know that his dad died.....uhhh, you know just so you're prepared if he happens to mention that because he does and it can be awkward sometimes because he is very blunt about it but don't worry he's okay with it...."

and she looked shocked. I don't know what she thought before I told her that. I mean she must know what kids in her class are single-parent kids. I'm the only one that signs the forms. The cheques for the book orders are in my name only. I've been there 3 times, by myself. That had to of meant something.

So it did end up being a little awkward, especially when she wanted to talk about it a little more by asking if it was hard and how old he was when his dad died, and I kept my answers cold and professional, because that is how I deal with it. If I start getting mushy and soft then there would be tears, but if I just state matter-of-factly what happened, it's all okay. I guess that is just how I deal.

Maybe Mason deals with it by attributing good food to heaven. I've just become numb and that's what works for us, although it can get a little awkward at times.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hello..this is my blog. I bought this fancy theme and I don't know what to write here just yet. Maybe one day remind me I have to write something inspiring here?

1 comments:

  1. You are so amazing for facing that awkward situation head-on to prevent more awkwardness later. That, on top of all the other brave stuff you've had to do, is pretty damn incredible.

    Oh and now whenever I almost chicken out on something then don't, I'll think of it as a Ralphie situation. :)

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