So busy daddy and I went to our first back to school night. It basically involved all of the parents sitting in the teeny-tiny kiddie chairs while the boy’s kindergarten teacher told us about the curriculum. It all seemed pretty basic, but I’m frankly amazed at the amount of stuff five-year-olds are expected to do and know nowadays. When I was five, I was still trying to figure out how to pee without dribbling. Forget about reading and math, sheesh.

I think I have adult-onset ADHD because I could barely keep track of what the teacher was talking about. Mostly, I was too distracted by the colors and crap covering every square inch of the walls in the room. Some parents were studiously taking notes, while others were either checking their iPhones or daydreaming about chocolate cake the entire time. Guess which camp I fell into?

Most moms asked things like who’s helping kids with their lunch (a question I had) and one dad was especially interested in how effective it was to leave math lessons at the end of the day when the kids were spent. I didn’t haven’t any questions like that because I was too busy trying to synthesize the information overload on the walls. Did I mention that every square inch was covered with some kind of crap or other? 

The teacher was explicit about not answering specific questions about our kids, so I kept my trap shut, lest I start asking stupid questions that I would later regret. We got to meet some of the other parents, who all seemed nice. I’m always pleasantly surprised when other people are nice because most times people are not.

As busy daddy and I were leaving, the boy’s teacher stopped us and told us that the boy was doing well, but then he said something curious. The teacher said, “I asked the boy where he was from and he said that he was born in ‘Chinese’ and when he was zero-years-old his daddy buyed him.” The teacher seemed somewhat alarmed and wondered aloud if the boy needed to speak to a guidance counselor about his adoption. I was surprised that they even had guidance counselors for kindergarteners. We told the teacher that the boy equates adoption with a financial transaction. I’m not sure this satisfied the teacher.

Explaining the concept of adoption to a five-year-old is tricky, and frankly, I haven’t been very good at this. I realize that my son will spend his entire life hearing people ask him where he’s from and where his mother is. I know what it’s like to be constantly asked where you’re from, but having to explain that you don’t have a mother every single day, well, I can’t begin to figure out how to explain this to my motherless son.

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