Yesterday, when my wife picked up our middle son from school, she got “the look” from his teacher.
You know “the look.”
It’s a bandaid of a smile which does little to hide the emotional battle wounds that the person charged with the care of your little darling has been forced to endure.
It’s comfortable like tight, wet denim and moves as melodically as the Tin Man dancing in a thunder storm. It feels a little judgy and it’s all your fault.
Naturally, the look is but a precursor to the story. This particular story is an old one that any parent knows by heart; my kid was behaving like a little shit all day.
“The look” is a contagious disorder. The teacher gave it to my wife who then gave it to me. I tried to give the look back to my son but of course, he was patient 0, and thus immune. He looked at my look, looking all obstinate and was like, “what are you looking at?” I looked on nevertheless.
“Look here!” I said, hoping I looked tough while desperately looking for the next thing to say. He looked back, rather unperturbed by the situation at hand which looked as though it was perhaps a lost cause already.
It was then, in one glorious moment of pent up parental frustration when the mother of all looks came to this father’s expression. My face became a weapon of mass discipline. I summoned the stories of a thousand generations of angry parents before me. I could feel my face twisting into something, other worldly. My smile was cold, chiseled complacency while my eye balls sizzled like hot coals in my skull. I melted his carefully construed facade of calm like a Star Wars death ray.
He took one look at my look and he knew that the jig was up. Mark one for the good guys.
So, as the parenting grind continues, we shall see what tomorrow will bring. I’m looking forward to what looks like a future of less “looks” but only time will tell. Looks like we’ll just have to wait and see.