We went to Bryce’s parent-teacher conference the other day. After I got over the fact that daycare centers require such things, I felt my chest swelling as his teacher said how well he was doing, how he, as their oldest child, was helping and getting special jobs and relishing them in his own way. She asked what our concerns were, took notes as we (Dawn really) said what she wanted to them to focus on. It was brief. I almost wondered why we had set up the meeting in the first place. It was short and short things get short-changed in my mind. It took reflection time for me to appreciate that short meetings can be meaningful, that they can shape the way we approach the long marathon of fatherhood.
After the teacher left, we looked over his binder which captured in pictures and notes and forms his track record over the last year. I’m not one of those parents—at least not yet—who says, “Time has moved so fast,” because I’ve taken this experiment as slowly as it’s come. But that book was another reminder of my boy’s growth, of my wife’s growth as a mother, and of my own. Maybe someone should require Parent-Teacher conferences where us parents are the subjects of discussion.