As a parent of two young children, I’ve learned to stand up for my children. This has brought up lots of memories of times when my parents stood up for me as a child and even as an adult. They were just moments that reminded me that my parents are funny, great and badassed.
Here’s my list:
- After summer break my third grade teacher asked each student to tell a story about what they did over the summer. I told them how I ate at a restaurant shaped as a duck. My teacher laughingly corrected me – “Dear, you must mean you ate duck.” I insisted that it was a duck-shaped restaurant. I ended up in the timeout corner for lying. My mother was incensed! She showed up the next day with a picture of that duck restaurant and my teacher showed the whole class the picture and apologized to me!
- My 7th grade social studies teacher sent home a contract that he expected each parent to sign. It included attendance and homework expectations but ended with the phrase – “if I say jump, the only thing your son or daughter should say is how high.” My mother wrote “my daughter does not jump for anyone!” And she refused to sign it. I was mortified at the time but in retrospect, it was awesome.
- Fast forward 15 years to my graduation from law school, where the school – UNC at Chapel Hill – asked the audience to remain quiet until all the names were called and everyone walked across the stage. My family could not contain themselves. It was a hot day so each person got a fan. My parents (and grandparents) wrote my name across their fans so when they put them together it said “coffeeclutches rocks!” They stood up cheering as I walked across the stage. It was HILARIOUS. Ok, this one strays from the theme but its my favorite.
- After being mugged in DC, my dad called the detectives investigating the case so often they called me and asked me to tell him to stop! After I told my dad this, he responded “That’s nice.” And kept calling until they solved the crime. I met up with the detectives once more afterward and they laughed about my dad and how he drove them crazy! As a retired NYPD officer, my dad knew that the squeaky wheel got the attention.
I think back to these times when I feel intimidated by a situation or person and it gives me motivation to stand up for my kids. My parents were not the type of parents to blame others if we kids were at fault. That’s why these memories are so special to me. They didn’t always swoop in. But when they did, they did it with style!
Image via Wikipedia.