The other night at dinner, my husband used the term “status quo,” and our 12-year-old daughter asked what it means. I explained that it is the current state of things and that people who embrace the status quo do not like and are often afraid of change. She shrugged and probably forgot what I said immediately, being the fearless girl she is. But the definition of the word resonated with me because I realized I was describing myself.
I thought of our conversation the next day during my daughter’s parent-teacher conference. Her seventh-grade teachers told my husband and me that she is a pleasure to teach and a leader in class, and she works well in groups. Her grades are excellent, and she is well-liked. I know these things. I’ve heard them countless times from previous teachers, but it is a relief every time to know nothing has changed. While my daughter may be a typical sassy-borderline-surly preteen at home, she isn’t experiencing any learning issues or social problems at school. Another year has passed without consequence. We have maintained the status quo.
On the car ride home, I thought about my son’s conference the previous month. Like our daughter, he is an honor student and a leader in class. However, when he is bored or doesn’t like a class he can be, well, disruptive. He’s in ninth grade now, but I’ve known this about him, the boy who is quiet and well-behaved at home, since kindergarten. It’s not a major issue, the teachers say, just something he should work on. Even hearing the same negative comment is comforting because it means nothing has changed. The order of my family’s little universe remains intact.
And that is why I go to my kids’ conferences every year: I need the reassuring ritual of sitting around that table listening to their teachers tell me what I already know. It’s an in-person reminder of how lucky I am to have two healthy, intelligent, well-adjusted children, and I need it. Like everyone, I sometimes get caught up in the trivial details of regular life and take its gifts for granted, especially when things are going well. At times when we have the most, we often appreciate the least. We forget how quickly things can change. On this Thanksgiving eve, I am embracing the status quo, my current state of affairs, because I am blessed to have it. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I am so thankful to each and every one of you for taking the time to read my words, comment and sometimes even share them. Wishing you a wonderful holiday weekend with the people in your life who matter the most.