This afternoon we held Parent-Teacher Conferences at my school. I really enjoy meeting parents. More often than not, I learn interesting facts about my students’ lives outside of my classroom: Will won a poetry prize in fifth grade, Mara got into her first choice college, Allie’s parents are separated.
Some parents who came in today heard nothing but glowing feedback from me. Others helped me brainstorm ways to reach their children, who are often struggling to complete their work. Each ten minute conference was full to the brim, bubbling into the next allotted slot on the schedule. Like everything else in teaching, there is never enough time.
In one conference, however, my story of all the greatness which Matt contributes to Creative Writing ended before the conference time was up. As he put on his coat, the father asked, “So, do you have any kids?”
“Yes!” I said, “he’s almost two.”
Matt’s dad lit up. We chatted for the remaining couple of minutes about parenting, about how quickly time flies, about how he could remember when Matt was that age and how he can’t believing he’s graduating high school in a couple of months…
Tonight, as K threw his plate and utensils and cup on the floor for the fifth time in a row, as he grabbed J’s glass of wine from the table and spilled it all over my iPhone, as he hit the dogs with his toy hammer and laughed, I thought to myself, This goes so quickly. This too shall pass. We are hurtling toward Two, Three, and all the toddler years to follow. The struggles of today will morph into some new, yet unseen phase, and I will simultaneously wish for it to end soon and lament that time is passing too quickly. I will blink, and then K will be in school, and I will be on the other side of the desk, knowing that what the teacher says and what the parent says in the conference each illuminate part of the whole which is a child.
Halfway through dinner, after I leaned down and picked up his cup once again, K reached over and wrapped his little arms around my left arm. He put his cheek on my shoulder and sighed, “Awwww.” This goes so quickly. This too shall pass.