Smiling babyWhen I was in high school and dreamed about my future children, I think I thought I wanted them to be popular and athletic, strong-willed and friendly. Maybe live in a big house. When in college, I wanted them just to be smart and go to a great school. In medical school, simply healthy.

Now that I’m a parent, I maintain only one consistent and overriding dream (besides the healthy part, that remains): I want my boys to grow up and be happy. No care in the world about the Ivy League, the house, or the soccer team. Trite but true.

First ever Swanson-parent-teacher conference for F was this week. First time in my life that the husband and I have sat down together, across the table from an impartial observer, and discussed our child. I think we were both a little nervous; I wore a dress.

The conference starts out and there is a loud monologue streaming in my head, “Please let her say he’s perfect, please let her say he’s okay, please let her genuinely smile when she speaks of him so I know she’s sincere in what she’s saying….”

F’s teacher sits down quickly, seemingly excited. He is doing well. He’s independent and loving school. Blah, blah, blah. All the school stuff comes out about learning, Montessori and “work,” etc. We talk about his development.

Then she pauses and says, “He’s very happy.”

Loud monologue in my head returns, “Did she just describe him as happy?”

“Yes, happy,” she says when I awkwardly ask for her to say it again.

As if I need another home-project I say, “What can we do to make things better?”

She smiles. “Really, he’s just so happy. Don’t fiddle with it.”

Best conference ever. Happy Friday.