Anonymous Substitute = Awkward Day.

Eli (my 10-year-old brother) had baseball practice after school today. My mom had a meeting and asked me to pick him up. So I did. He got in the car smelling like grass mixed with sweat mixed with the kid-who-came-in-from-playing-outside smell. I asked him how the practice went and he said good, and then showed me the post-it notes, of things to remember, the coach gave him to review. I asked him how schools was and he kind of sighed.

Eli, “Awkward day!”

Me, “Wait, it was literally awkward day? Like, a holiday or something? I didn’t know they celebrated that.”

Eli, “No, just an awkward day.”

Me, “Oh, darn. Well, it still sounds pretty fun.”

Eli, “Not really.”

Me, “Oh…Well, what made it awkward day?”

Eli sighed again, “Well, we had a substitute teacher that we didn’t even know about, and then he didn’t even tell us his name.”

Me, “What’s his name?”

Eli, “I don’t know! He never told us!”

Me, “Wait, you had this dude as a teacher the whole day and he never told you his name?!”

Eli, “Yep.”

Me, “He didn’t write it on the board?”

Eli, “Nope.”

Me, perplexed, “I mean, that seems like a huge chunk of the job description of a substitute teacher. Write your name on the board, and then tell the kids to do the work the real teacher left for them. That’s pretty much half of his job he forgot to do!”

Eli, “I guess he didn’t remember.”

Me, “His name, or to tell you?”

Eli, “To tell us. Or maybe he didn’t remember his name either.”

Me, “Well, that would make more sense! And none of you thought to ask it?”

Eli, “Nope.”

Me, “I mean, what if you needed something from him?”

Eli, “He didn’t answer questions anyways!”

Me, “Ok, whoa there! He didn’t tell you his name, and he didn’t answer your questions?!”

Eli, “Yeah. Like, I asked him about something on a worksheet and he said, ‘That’s the same thing I told the other girl,’ and I didn’t hear what he told her.”

Me, “The same thing I told the other girl? Really?”

Eli, “Yep.”

Me, “Well, that doesn’t really answer your question.”

Eli, “Not at all.”

Me, “Who is this mysterious unnamed man?”

Eli, “I don’t know.”

Me, “Right! Well, that is pretty awkward.”

Then we passed a tiny motel and Eli said, “They have a pool?!?!?”

I looked back in the rearview mirror to make sure we were thinking of the same establishment. Yep, the Winona, and there is no way they have a pool.

Me, “No ways!”

Eli, “The sign said they have pool.”

Me, “Maybe it’s the game pool. Or, like, the bathtubs or something.”

Eli, “Yeah, or maybe they bring out a little kiddie pool for people to swim in.”

Me, “Maybe.”

Eli, “A kiddie pool! That would be awkward.”

Me, “Wait, do you even know what awkward means?”

Eli, “I’m pretty sure I do.”



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