So then…he slings his backpack on the counter and pops open the fridge for a snack.
“How was the first day of 10th grade?” I ask.
A muffled “fine” floats up from the fridge.
“Oh come on, you gotta give me more than that. I’m excited to hear about your classes and teachers. Can’t you tell me something about your day?”
My 15-year-old son emerges with a container of pineapple — pauses, concentrates — then brightens when he remembers something.
“After class, one of my teachers, Mr. Preston, said, ‘Tucker, I am really glad you are in my class.’”
“Oh!” I say proudly, taking it as a compliment for my son.
Then I think a moment. “Wait, why did he say that to you?”
“I dunno.” He opens the silverware drawer for a fork.
“Did he know you from last year or something?”
“No.” He grabs a water bottle.
“Did he say it to anyone else?”
He shrugs. “Nope.”
“So he just told you specifically that he’s ‘really glad’ you’re in his class? What class is this?”
So now I’m wondering if the teacher said that because he was impressed with Tucker’s keen philosophical grasp of theological principles –
or because he was thinking, ‘Good Lord, this heathen’s on the brink of eternal damnation. Thank God he’s in this class so we can SAVE HIS SOUL!’
I’m sure it’s the former. Yeah, definitely the former.
— Darcy Perdu
Original Illustration for So Then Stories by Stefano Marchio
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(Do you agree it’s like pulling teeth to get your teenagers to communicate? Any examples of “compliments” that might NOT be actual compliments? Any odd teacher quotes?)