Famous (like Confucius, of course)

Today I was filling out Anna’s “back to school” sheet. Of course this was happening five minutes before she needed to walk out the door for the bus, so everyone was in a panic. But I stole away from the chaos for a moment or two to fill it out.

It asked all the standard questions. “What are your child’s interests?” (I put that she is interested in stories about her ancestors, and music), and “How does your child act socially?” (I put that Anna used to have social anxiety–really bad, screamy, stressful social anxiety–before pre-school but that she hadn’t exhibited those symptoms for a long time.) Good, normal assessment questions.

Then at the bottom it said…
“Is there anything else I (her teacher) should be aware of?”

And I thought… yes. There kind of is.

Perhaps I should let her teacher know that the Weed family has had a very interesting summer.

Perhaps I should let her teacher know that Anna was on national TV a month ago because her dad is gay and married to her mother, a woman.

Perhaps it would be wise to do this in case she says something. Or in case a peer knows something. Or…. just in case.

But in the hustle and bustle, and with no time to really articulate this on three lines at the bottom of a “get to know you” page that might never be thoroughly read (aka when I was a teacher, I failed to read them all thoroughly), I just handed the packet to Anna with that question blank as she scurried out the door to catch the bus.

She’s fine, right? I thought. No reason to be concerned. No reason to let her teacher know that anything is going on. I’m sure Anna’s picked up that something has been happening, but I doubt she even could articulate what. No reason to raise alarms. Right?

Later on when I told Lolly about the question, she laughed and told me of the following conversation that she and Anna had yesterday:

Anna: Mommy, Are we famous?

Lolly: Well… why do you ask?

Anna: I just want to know.

Lolly: No. I wouldn’t say that we’re famous.

Anna: What is “famous?”

Lolly: It means that a lot of people know who you are.

Anna: Then I think we are famous. Because lots of people read Daddy’s post. And we were on TV.

Oh. So, that’s how perceptive she has been about this. Got it. It’s funny how we underestimate kids’ ability to pick up on what’s going on around them. Looks like we should maybe think about telling her teacher so she can field any weirdness.

Oh, and by the way, the conversation continued.

Anna: Is Confucius famous? Lots of people know who he is too.

Lolly: I guess Confucius is famous.

Anna: So we’re famous. And Confucius is famous.

Lolly: I… sure Anna. We’re famous. Just like Confucius.

Anyway, the conversation with her teacher is going to be ridiculous. “Hi, yes. So, we just wanted to mention that this summer has been a little crazy. We made national news, and Anna was on TV. Why? Oh, well… because Josh is gay. And I’m straight. Also, Anna doesn’t know that. But she does know that we’re famous. Except we’re not really famous. We’re just… gaymous. Just wanted to let you know! Oh, yes, and what day did you want me to come in and help with a class party?”
Awesome.
Why, yes, I am famous. Much like my homie, Confucius.




33 Comments

  1. I always hated those sheets anyway. I always wanted my children to have a blank sheet and a fresh start with each teacher. I wanted them to have their own unique relationship without being tainted with preformed judgments.

    I say LEAVE IT ALL AS BLANK AS POSSIBLE!! 🙂

  2. Naw, it's fun to fill it in with all sorts of nonsense. Then the teacher just can't wait to REALLY meet you.

    You know, stuff about supersonic fighter jets and unicorns and things.

  3. This is going to come off really creepy…but oh well!
    I have always thought you lived by me and now that I see your front steps I am almost sure of it. Does your neighborhood name start with a P?

    1. Hello neighbor! You live close enough that you recognize my front steps? How have we never run into you guys before? Do you live in the neighborhood that starts with a P too??

      We obviously need to get together sometime 😉

  4. It's crazy all the things that kids remember. My daughter remembers obscure facts about things that we talked about 3 or 4 months ago that my wife and I have long since forgotten. This was a great story. Anna's the best.

  5. Is she attending a public school? If so, I have no idea why they would need to know that you are gay, unless it is the publicity you are thinking about, that would make more sense. For example, if you think that paparazzi might come to the school or something. or I gues she might bring up the Dateline thing. Otherwise, I'm pretty certain that the school doesn't need to know nor cares that you are gay.
    I enjoy your blog but I'm honestly not understanding why the school would need to know about your sexuality.

    1. I'm not sure anyone suggested that the school would need to know about parents' sexuality. Josh was wondering how much to tell the school about the unusual summer Anna had experienced by virtue of her parents being thrust into the limelght.

  6. Normally, I would agree that one's sexuality is not the school's business, but in this case it may be helpful, since, based on the nature of Josh's famousness (gaymousness? love. the. word.) its entirely possbile that some kid will say to Anna, "I heard your dad is gay" or "why is your dad married to your mom if he's gay" or some such other thing, and it would be good for the teacher to be aware of that potential so she could be ready to nip all that in the bud.

    1. I totally agree. There isn't so much a need for the school to know your orientation, as there is a need for the school to be aware of potential problems. Kids can be mean, and you don't want Anna to find out from some kid at school that you're gay. For all you know Anna could come home and wonder why the kids at school are saying that Lolly is a boy. (that's how kids minds work, josh is gay, gay means he loves boys, he loves lolly, therefore lolly is a boy).

      I would actually say you might need to tell Anna what's going on also, as well as the teacher.

  7. Blindside means to tell someone information that they weren't expecting and it is very harmful and upsetting for them. For example, 'Tom Cruise was blindsided by Katie's demanding a divorce." In other words, he had no idea and was unprepared and very upset.
    I'm thinking this is not what you meant.

  8. [reply to my comment earlier (blogger is not letting me add it to the earlier thread, sorry!)]

    From things you have said and other pics you've posted inside your house and around your neighborhood I knew you lived close to me and suspected that you lived in the same house layout as us…the fact that your front steps are the same as ours makes me sure!

    We live in the L-shaped little sister of what must be your part of the neighborhood, the main part. I know this because the little sister part only has like 12 houses and I know everyone and you are not them!

    Tomorrow we're having a garage sale so you'll see yellow signs galore. That's my house 🙂

    Man, can't say too much because some creepy readers might actually try to figure out where you live…oh wait…that's me.

    ~Sarah

  9. I agree with letting the teacher fill in her own blanks (except for medical conditions) but don't miss the chance to look at that question in private and consider what characteristics and traits and behaviors that Anna has that make her a unique child of God. In the botheration of daily life we sometimes overlook the very special attributes of each child that make us want to take them in our arms and squeeze them until tears come from our eyes. Parents should take a moment now and then to concentrate on the precious gifts each child brings with them.

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