The white Suburban was turning left just ahead of me, going as I was into the summer camp parking lot. It was Friday, the end of summer camp and we parents were streaming into the parking lot to catch the end-of-the-day parents' presentation after which we would get to see what our children had been working on all week in the classrooms.
This was Galileo Quest, the big kids Galileo for rising 5th through 8th graders.
The Suburban was impatient, making its turn prematurely. A young cyclist was approaching, forcing the the suburban to stop midturn. The Suburban didn't like this and kept moving forward and slamming on its brakes, almost as if to intimidate the girl on the bike. It was as if they were telling the cyclist that their time was more valuable than hers.
In the parking lot, I kept my eyes on the white Suburban, wondering who'd emerge for its interior. It looked like a tank and had been driven as such, so I was expecting to see an Arnold type guy emerge but no, out jumped a diminutive Chinese couple, cell phones in hand, a big designer purse dangling from her arm.
They walked together as if they owned the earth.
As we parents filed into the classrooms, the Suburban owners were joined by most of the other families of Chinese heritage and headed into the chemistry room.
There, a sobbing child met them. The parents seemed indifferent as I overheard one of the chemistry instructors explain that their son had not wanted to participate all day, that he only wanted to read his book, and that he hated himself.
I looked left at the classroom sign for Fashion Design and up ahead where my kids awaited me in Video Game Design and wondered if perhaps the choice to take a summer chemistry class (even a more snazzied up and fun one like Galileo) was not his choice?
I know it's a grand assumption on my part to have only seen part of the story. I know it's a grand assumption to see something out of context. Perhaps the boy had not been feeling well. Perhaps the other kids had been mean. Who knows? But I see so many of these kids who are pushed to academically excel, even during summer days where free time is seen as a chance to "get ahead" rather than to just explore and have fun.
I know I'm guilty of pressuring my imperfect kids at times but hey, I passed on the chance to enroll my boys in a six week, all day summer course of academic math that their friend was made to take. I even enabled their video game addiction by letting them enroll in the video game desing class at Galileo Quest (which they loved).
At worst, the Suburban driving parents are tiger parents, always pushing. At best, they selfishly drive their Suburban with an air of self-importance and a disdain for the safety others.
I am not a perfect parent and my actions, taken out of context, could very well be seen as questionable as well. But observing this Suburban in action made me want to know the whole story. I hope the boy is happy.
This is an original post to Chalk and Cheese Chronicles.