“ARE YOU PREGNANT?”
Maniac Magee ran into my classroom before school started this morning, his voice at full volume, his feet tumbling to get through the door. Outside, a handful of last year’s group sat and watched through the window, awaiting the confirmation, admiring his courage to barge in and demand an answer. I asked the usual assortment of early morning visitors, including some kids I never actually taught, to wait with the others outside.
“You know, that’s not really how you should ask a woman if she’s pregnant. Instead, you should use a quiet voice, and ask if I’m going to have a baby.”
“Okay, are you going to have a baby?”
He could not hold himself still for an answer, but his voice was a little quieter.
“Yes, I’m going to have a baby.”
A pause combined with a look of genuine concern. “It’s alright, accidents happen.”
“No, honey, I want this baby, it’s not an accident.”
I realized then that everything he knew about babies was being called into question. Poor kid.
“But it will ruin your career!”
I tried not to laugh, I knew his heart was in the right place. We chatted for a few minutes. He was still incredulous I would make this decision by choice. I explained I don’t like a lot of attention, that he needed to be quiet about my news.
Still, I knew it was no use. He had an audience waiting.
“SHE IS AND IT’S ON PURPOSE!” he exclaimed to his small throng, once my door was closed behind him.
I could not help but laugh. He could not help but spread the news. It was exactly the reaction I dreaded when I told my thirty new students yesterday. They, of course, were sweet and quiet, supportive with silent signals as I asked for as little attention as possible.
Last year’s class, well, they’re a different beast. A beast I love and miss, still gathered noisily outside my door.
I guess the news is out.