“Well, I’m about as tall as a shotgun and just as noisy.”
~ Truman Capote
As I walked out of the girls’ school last Friday, the third graders were just returning from their field trip. I was surprised when a teacher that I don’t know particularly well stopped me in my tracks.
She leaned in conspiratorially as she said, “Can I tell you a story?”
I tried to gauge the look on her face. Her friendly smile offered no clues as to whether or not this would be the kind of story that I could handle in my present state or whether it might well be the kind that would reduce me to a simpering puddle right there on the sidewalk.
I’m fairly certain that I nodded.
She explained that she had seen me earlier in the day and had assumed that I would be chaperoning the field trip. When she realized that I wasn’t with them, she’d mentioned to Katie that she’d thought I’d be coming along.
“So, Katie,” she’d said, “Where’s your mom? I thought I saw her at school this morning.”
“You did,” Katie had answered. “She’s helping out in my sister’s class today. My dad’s coming on the field trip.”
“Oh,that’s nice,” said the teacher. “Which sister?”
She told me that Katie had looked understandably confused. “What do you mean ‘which sister?'” she’d asked. “I only have one.”
“Oh, that’s funny,” the teacher said. “I always thought you had two.”
And my older daughter – my sweet, loving, affectionate little girl – looked her right in the eye and said, “Oh, you’re probably thinking of my mom. She’s just really short.”