The Silent Type

By Jeanne Marie Laskas
Sunday, October 15, 2006

My feeling is if the husband isn't going to make it to the PTA meeting, he doesn't get to have a say in which committees he'll serve on. Cookie-Baker Club? Tea With Teachers Committee? Hmm. Nothing is immediately jumping out. (Last year, he ducked the whole deal by making a donation.) I imagine him serving on the Warm and Fuzzy Welcome Committee or the Kindergarten-Screening Refreshments Committee. Why do I enjoy this process so much? "Hello, honey, I just signed you up to lead the chaperones' dance at the Snowflake Petal Boogie Hop!" How many times does a spouse get to say that?

Sue walks up. She is Makenzie's mom. Makenzie is my daughter Sasha's best kindergarten friend.

"Your husband inspired me so much at soccer yesterday," Sue says.

Inspired her? Really? "Did he tell you Sasha ran off the field crying?" Sue asks.

Um, no. He neglected to mention that. He told me that she scored a goal, as if that were the important news.

"Oh, it was a big scene," Sue reports. "The coaches ran up, trying to find out what was wrong. And the kids were like, 'Come on back in and have fun with us!'"

Why didn't he tell me this? What is the matter with him?

"And Sasha just buried her head in his shoulder, sobbing, refusing to speak. And do you know what your husband told her?"

No, I certainly do not.

"He said, 'You don't have to answer, Sasha. You don't have to explain yourself to anybody.'"

Hmm. I'm not sure what I think about this. Have we gotten to the inspirational part yet?

"I would never have done that," Sue says. "I would have joined the crowd, insisting that Makenzie tell me what the problem was."

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