I’m writing at the True Woman Blog today. 

During parent-teacher conferences, I sat across the table from a very frustrated, concerned grandmother. Back then, I was sitting on the teacher’s side of the table, and I’m sure I looked rather young and naïve to this elderly woman who had high hopes and deep concern for her dear grandson.

She was pointing at his fourth grade report card—to the spot where the tardies were tallied. There was a “1” in the box, and she was adamantly insisting there should be a “0.” She said, “I get him here on time every single day. When was he tardy? When?” She jabbed her finger at the “1” for emphasis.

Hiding my surprise, I explained that we’d have to check with the office on which day her grandson was tardy. But I thanked her for faithfully transporting him each morning and assured her that one tardy was actually quite exemplary. “It’s certainly nothing to be concerned about,” I said.

“Well, it concerns me!” she said. She seemed to resent the way I was downplaying the seriousness of a single tardy.

I wasn’t sure what to do. Did she want me to erase the tardy? That didn’t seem quite right. I decided to probe a bit deeper. “May I ask why this concerns you so much—this tardy? What is it that you’re worried about?”

“Well!” she said, indignantly. “I’m worried about what they’ll say. How will we explain it, when they ask?”

“They . . . ?” I asked blankly…

Read the rest here.

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