Saturday, January 16, 2010

Scarry question

One of our kids' favorite books to flip through and spend time with is Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day? The first time I saw the title it really tickled me. After all, a child's world can be pretty small. Who knows what they're thinking in those little heads? When adults disappear for the day, what do these kids think they're doing?

The book is chock-full of people (or rather, furry animals) involved in every type of occupation. Most of the jobs can be identified by the clothing worn by the workers. And in fine Scarry form, these creatures are often caught up in some type of mishap as well.

I am a jeans-and-t-shirt kind of gal, mostly due to the messy hazards that come with raising boys. In fact, I classify my clothing by whether I will be in contact with my kids or not. So there's the "will survive tackling, ink stains, and repeated washings" and there's the "stay far away so that I can look presentable in front of professional people" clothes.

This second group consists of what I would wear teaching and tutoring. And lately it has also consisted of what I would wear while giving speeches in front of our county's School Board. I've stood in front of them numerous times now, trying to influence the Board to make correct decisions concerning local education.

Now, I've tried to explain to my kids what I do as an SAT/ACT teacher and tutor. But the whole concept of college test prep is outside of their world. At least they know what a teacher is. However, when it came to explaining why I was giving speeches in front of the School Board (not to mention what exactly is a School Board,) it was tough. Conveniently, the local cable channel would broadcast the meeting, so my husband would record the portion with my speech.

Our kids were thrilled and a little confused about seeing mom on t.v. Our oldest understood but I wondered what our middle child with Asperger's thought about the whole thing. Did he think I went far away? Did he think I was teaching? Who did he think I was talking to?

A few nights ago, I was getting into the car in order to drive to a tutoring student's house. My little Aspie flew across the front yard and planted himself inside my open car door, preventing me from closing it.

"Mom! Mom, Mom. Where are you going?"

"I'm off to tutor a student at his house."

He gave me a brief hug and then pulled back, carefully evaluating my outfit. Then, with a very serious face, he asked,

"Will we see you on t.v.?"

I guess I still have some explaining to do.