If you know me outside this blog at all, then you know I do not leave near the school where I teach, for a reason.
I love my children and their parents. I genuinely enjoy interacting with them throughout my day. However, I have no desire to run into them at HEB or the carwash.
About a week ago, I'm at a Tex-Mex restaurant EAST of where I live. I've run into the ladies room and am washing my hands, when a little boy and his slightly older sister come in. I don't pay much attention, until I realize they're trying to look at me covertly and then glancing at each other. I start to wonder if something is wrong with my clothing. I'm wearing a high necked blouse, but maybe something is hanging out that's not supposed to? I start glancing down at my clothing, in the mirror at my face, neck, arms, quick glances, attempting to see what has their attention.
Finally, the little boy exclaims, "You're from our school!"
The lightbulb goes off, and Ms. Ross turns on the smile. "Yes, yes, I am!" I chat with them for just a moment, finding out he's a kindergartner and she's in 2nd grade, feeling slightly awkward as we're in a public restroom and it's just the three of us. We all finish washing our hands, and head back to our parties.
It was a slightly odd occurrence, as I work WEST of where I live.
I tell the story to my girlfriends, we laugh and carry on with our evening.
Flash forward a little over a week...I'm meeting a friend for coffee, and am walking by Crave Cupcakes. I can tell a teenage girl has glanced at me and looked back at her friends, embarrassed. She looks familar, and I'm pretty sure she's a former student, but I can't pull her name, so I don't say anything.
I walk into Starbucks, chat with the friend I'm meeting, get in line to order my drink and sit down to begin catching up. A girl I do not recognize appears at our table. "Um, hi." Awkward, teenage girl smile. "Is your name Ms. Ross?" I give my best, "Welcome to Ms. Ross's class!" smile and admit that I am, while sincerely hoping she was not a former student, because I had no clue who she was, but didn't want to disappoint her if I didn't know her name. On the contrary, her friend was my former student, but was too embarrased to come say hello. However, her friends convinced her, and it made me remember the awkward life of a 14 year old girl, when talking to an adult was mortifying, yet desirable.
I actually enjoyed running into these children, though I still firmly stand by my decision to never live in the area where I teach!