When I visit my parents, one of my favorite things to do is dig through old photo albums. Mom has done a marvelous job chronicling our family’s history, and I never tire of looking at faded shots of deceased grandparents; of long-ago Bar Mitzvahs and Chanukah parties and birthday bashes and … and …
… my brother David’s pre-school teacher.
Um, yeah. So, while flipping through the ol’ books, I came across the above photograph, which features a really, really, really, really weird-looking dude, circa 1977, staring toward my brother (the boy in the stylish red checkered shirt). Now, this is not to say the really, really, really, really weird-looking dude was actually weird. For all I know he was a beloved teacher earning a little extra summer dough. Perhaps he was a rabbi, just trying to work with kids. An aspiring doctor home to take care of his ill mother, anxious to rake in a little extra scratch.
Whatever the case, as a parent of two (which I now am), there’s nooooooo way in hell I drop my pre-school child off with this guy. Or, to be honest, any guy I don’t know. It sucks, and it’s unfair, and it’s a sad statement on society, but we have been forced to gaze somewhat skeptically at men who aspire to engage with little children. Again—totally not fair. I’m a work-from-home father who’s been around his kids (and their friends) for years, and it usually brings great joy. But, well, um, eh, yeah. It just is what it is. Skepticism reigns—rightly.
But even if skepticism over men at large doesn’t, in fact, reign, skepticism over a guy who looks as groovy as this fella surely does.
It is what it is.