Monday, October 3, 2011

I fall in love too easily, I fall in love too fast

When I was single, I was constantly finding a new object of affection and recklessly, prematurely falling for them. I’m just that kind of an impulsive girl who likes to give her heart away easy. I don’t recommend it and I sure as hell don’t wish it for my own kids, who I’d like to assess a potential partner for half a decade before so much as holding their hand. Thankfully, now I’m married and the only person I want to date – and then, only sometimes – is David. But I still have a tendency to fall too easily, too fast, though not in the romantic sense. Now I have a tendency to fall for experts charged with the enormous responsibility of caring for my children, usually doctors and teachers, but sometimes even lunch ladies and CCD instructors – anyone, basically, who does something decent for my kids when I’m not there. September is an action-packed month for my heart in this respect and this September has been no different.

I should qualify that I don’t always fall in love. Sometimes, I fall into loathing. It goes one of two ways: either I’m immediately smitten and the teacher’s the Absolute Best, the Non-Pareil or I’m immediately discouraged and concerned and the teacher is the Absolute Worst, the Bottom of the Barrel. Rarely, I stumble upon teachers about whom I have no immediate opinion, who are later revealed to be Just OK.

Last year, I blogged about how much I loved Primo’s first grade teacher Jennifer and how I would have liked nothing more than to lock her into a contract whereby she would be our family’s educator ‘til the kids go off to college. And I feel a little like I’m cheating on her here but I have to admit I’m head over heels for Marie, his second grade teacher now. I know it’s a little reckless of me to judge someone’s character so quickly but I can’t help it.

When I read the welcome letter that arrived in August, I was optimistic, very optimistic. I loved the way she double-sided the letter and how savvy she was about formatting so that important info was highlighted with boxes and checkmarks. That shit shows devotion.

When I heard from one of Primo’s friends that his first grade teacher Jennifer had given her seal of approval on the new teach, apparently widening her eyes and gasping with excitement, before saying “Oh she’s wooooonderful!” – I began to wax rhapsodic out loud, to my husband. I had never met her but any friend of The Best Teacher Ever was a friend of ours.

So when Marie gave Primo a special three-sided pencil to help him perfect his grip on the second day of school and then offered to send one home as well, the deal was sealed. I loved her, irrevocably and unconditionally, forevermore. And when Primo said she made a homemade batch of Snickerdoodles for the class FOR NO REASON, I wrote a theme song for her. When I showed up at the curriculum conference, hoping upon hope she might provide some coffee and found not only steaming Starbucks but a heaping platter of homemade currant scones, my heart was whipped into a frenzy of love and gratitude that had me drafting gushy mushy thank-you emails to her in my head while she talked – dear woman – about how in her class, they’d do poetry every day, because if there are two words that should never go together its “poetry” and “unit.”

Marie is now the teacher to beat. In fact, she is such a superstar standout that it almost makes me uneasy, because I know next year, no matter who we get, it will be a crushing blow. It pains me to think of how far we will fall. But, the great news is, since I now have a younger child in the school, I have another shot at second grade with Marie. Its reason enough to keep procreating.