parent-teacher conferences are my favorite

parent-teacher conferences are my favoriteI was having a week. The kind of week when every decision I made seemed to be the wrong one. When my patience was a unicorn that had flown somewhere very, very far away. I was a cranky old ogre with barely enough time for a shower and the thought of speaking to anyone in the outside world made me really want a nap.

And then I had to go to a parent-teacher conference.

I don’t know how other people feel about these things, but they always fill me with a weird anxiety—ok, so maybe a lot of things fill me with anxiety, but this is sort of weird, anxious dread. I know I’m going in to talk about one of my daughters, but I always feel like I’m walking in to be judged.

Oh thaaaaaat’s why this kid never shuts up.
How old is this girl?
Is this hot mess 
really capable of taking care of another human?

Ridiculous? Yes. But that’s kind of the thing about anxiety, isn’t it? So I walk in, immediately more awkward than normal. And I’m pretty awkward.

But on this particular day, during this particularly stressful week, that parent-teacher conference was just about the best thing that could’ve happened to me. I mean, a book deal would be nice, but I’ll take a fantastic conference.

I realized that nothing makes me feel like less of a screw up than stepping out of a glowing meeting with one of my daughters’ teachers. It takes everything in me not to jump up and down and do an end zone-like celebratory dance.

Hear that, world?! My kid is an upstanding citizen!

She may throw shit at her sister when she’s annoyed and stomp and slam when she gets frustrated  at home, but when I unleash her out into the world she acts like a respectable human. She’s helpful. She’s independent. She’s smart.

Do you know what that means, world? It means I’m doing something right!

While I contain the enthusiasm that really just wants to burst out into the universe, I’m filled with overwhelming pride. My little booger is a good egg. Her teachers find her delightful. She gets along well with her peers. We did good. We did damn good.

After countless sleepless nights and days filled with worry, it all turned out OK. I didn’t screw her up beyond repair. Score one for mom.


This post is part of my 52 Essays project. This year I have set a goal for myself to write one finished piece every week(ish). I’m not sure what you can expect from them because I’m sort of winging it. Some will be good. Some will be less good. Hopefully you’ll love them. Maybe you’ll hate them. We’ll just have to wait and see. 😉 16/52

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Written by Jennifer Garry

Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she’s not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.