The middle school called me, and because I work from home at the dining room table with a Bernese Mountain Dog’s head in my lap and the heat turned on because husband does NOT work at home and what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him (he lives by some barbaric fraternity house rule No Heat ’til Thanksgiving), I answered the phone. Because it was the school on caller ID and not a client I was trying to dodge. Or my sister.
I really expected a forgotten saxophone. Or, perhaps, an anxiously awaited first period so perhaps the mood swings would be put in check. Or even a plea for a coveted “parent pick up” to avoid the hour bus ride maze to make the entire 3.2 mile trip home.
But it wasn’t anything like that.
And it wasn’t because I had a kid puking in the nurses office. Or crying in the locker room. Or skipping ‘learning lab’ to learn even more about life in extended lunch.
Nope, they didn’t want to talk about my kid at all. They didn’t want to talk about the two that already went through or the one still waiting in the wings.
They wanted to talk to me. Not Mamma-me, but Worker-me. “So I hear you’re a writer,” says the guidance counselor on the phone.
“You talkin’ to me? You. Talkin’. To. Me? Calling me a … a writer?”
It was delicious.
Oh, now I get it. They want a freebie. Flyer. Newsletter. Cards. Dance theme. Fundraiser. A brochure to buy some goats in Africa. Or a promo for parents to not drive over kids in the parking lot. No prob.
The middle school asked me to come speak at Career Day. Me. Like I have a career or something. Which I don’t. I have a job. Or seven. Enough to fill my day between bus stops to pay for the cleats and swim fins. And I graciously explain, I’m not that kind of writer.
You know. A real writer.
Kids in middle school say writer and immediately think JK Rowling. Meg Cabot. Rick Riordan. Horowitz. Adults think everybody can write for Oprah. Or publish like Picoult. Or why don’t I write for The Daily Show? Like Stewart is hiring from craigslist. People. Please.
But I do have this blog. Which started as a gig for Women@WorkNetwork but is now not quite so boring. And I could teach them a bit about that. The little bit that I know. Which is A. Very. Little. Bit.
But I can’t do it. It is Parent’s Weekend and we’re heading to see #1 who has been gone forever. And we miss her. And while I want to do Career Day more than I want to write for Jon Stewart, I want to see kid #1 even more. So I declined for this year. But maybe, just maybe, they’ll invite me back next year. And by then I just may have a career.