A pleasantly surprising kojinkondankai today. For the uninitiated it is a parent teacher meeting.
For Daisy and Ruby I have always been happy to swan in there and be told what perfect perfect daughters I have. So friendly , so helpful, clever and smiling they seem to have brought joy to each and every teacher’s life.
Isshin, surprise surprise has been an entirely different story.
So I was quietly pleased today to hear that he is really ‘not too bad’,no major troubles, forgets his homework a lot, may have a teensy weensy problem concentrating for longer than the average goldfish, but all in all, ‘not a bad kid’. Also, she said, his penmanship is quite wonderful, the beauty of his kanji beyond compare ( okay now I am exaggerating a little but you get the jist), the kid has really nice handwriting.
I fair floated out of the room, stopping but for a second to pick up the 8 foot tomato plant my fine young son had lovingly tended, to bring home.
I wafted down the stairs in the glow of great motherhood, pride in my off-spring, we had hoed a hard road with that boy, but my goodness we will reap the fruits of out labours
( and his, as those tomatos were plump and ripe and delicious looking).
I come out of the school and cast my eye around for my winged babes,they are nowhere to be seen but surely the glow of their halos would light my way toward them.
Then suddenly out of the blinding light came a body,
“ Are you Isshin’s mother?” it asked.
Now that is not a question I like to be asked, I am always tempted to look puzzled and say something like,
“Isshin? Isshin? No that’s not ringing any bells, I think you must have me mistaken for someone else. Good luck in your search my friend. I wish you well.”
Or alternatively , “ Ahh, well technically , if you want to be pedantic about things, I suppose if I had to ‘label’ myself , you could at a stretch , yes say I am his Mother”.
The apparition went on.
“Are you looking for him?”
“yes” I squeaked in a very small voice, not really knowing where we were going with this line of questioning and certainly knowing in the end I would not want to know.
“He is in the carpark with the Deputy Head.”
“Oh!” said I, wild horses and the threat of full body piercing would not make me ask the six million dollar question, ‘Why?”.
I beamed my brightest smile and thank her for her helpfulness in clearing up the mystery of the missing child, what a Nancy Drew she is I thought.
Myself and the tomato plant wended our way around to the car park. I saw at the far end quite a crowd had gathered.
You know the expression “sinking feeling’?
Well I had the Titanic of sinking feelings, I knew somewhere in the center of that throng would be my fine young son.
I got there to find him indeed with the Deputy Head, but Isshin also had a bucket of water, a brush and a vat of vim.
He was vigorously scrubbing down the outside wall of the school where is said in very large letters, “Ruby is a …….., “ he had obviously been collared before his insight into his sister was complete.
As my son scrubbed and the DH talked quietly and calmly about respecting people and property and the crowd looked on , I kept my head high, though partially obscured by the tomato plant, and looked at the fading letters on the wall and thought….
Goddamn he does have good penmanship.