Dear Teacher,

I made a mental note to myself that I would not let another year go by without apologizing. But, you see, it started way back at the beginning of the very first school year, when I received your first parent handout…on the last day of school.

When I originally suggested that as parents, we would appreciate some sort of weekly correspondence to the other moms, they all turned and looked at me like they had never heard a simple suggestion before. Then, as years went by, I grew suspicious when I found out there was a… weekly handout.

But I considered that small potatoes when my children came home in their pre-school years and could finally tell that a nickel was not more money, just because it was bigger, than a dime.

I was pleased to see the few notes that did come my way.  If you’re keeping track, I have given notice as a volunteer. So how did I know that the entire homeroom phone tree collapsed because I did not get my weekly notice?  The request seemed reasonable.  Call parents in case of an emergency.  Unfortunately, they sent my list of parent’s names home with the weekly notice.  As for poor Barb Shertzer, homeroom parent, I apologize.

It never occurred to me that you may not realize the true reason why I am writing you today.  It is–well–it’s embarrassing.  I mean, I wouldn’t bring it up, but yes–that was–my signature on all those excuses and notices that did make it home.  You–did get them, right?

I know what you’re thinking; how could anyone have such bad handwriting.  Well, let me tell you, it wasn’t easy.  I was never in a relaxed upright position, with glasses on, a cup of coffee next to me, sitting in my easy chair.  Oh…no.

I don’t think that there is anything that can make my moment like hearing a hysterical 11-year-old brooding over the urgency of a school note that must be signed NOW!  There was no doubt in my mind that she was talking directly to me even though I could not see her, as I had an armful of laundry, the newspaper in my teeth, just hit my crazy bone while going down the stairs.  I had to sign my John Henry with my toes.

Or the time I was on my hands and knees, hoisting the mattress on my back trying to flip it over, when Junior, who I had just seen kiss the dog on the lips, kisses me goodbye.  Leaving for school, tears welling in his eyes, he explains the crumpled paper in his hand is the note to allow him on today’s field trip.  I used my teeth to glide the pencil across on that note.

Let’s see, and there was the time in the car I had to use the steering wheel to write my name; while being kicked from the back seat by the neighbor’s kid…What the heck.  This is like yesterday’s leftovers.  Old news.  I promise that next year will be different.  There I feel better.


A Parent

P.S.  I have never found it sound practice to compare myself to other people (up until a few days ago), so I would like to share with you this great recipe.  I know you might get a lit–tle bored this coming summer without your students, and cooking is a practical hobby.  “Aw, c’mon forgive me please…”


4 Large Trout

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Sauce: 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard, 2 Teaspoons wine vinegar, two egg yolks, salt and pepper, 6 Tablespoons unsalted softened butter, 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives, ½ cucumber sliced thin.

Wash and clean the trout.  Cut off the heads and dry the fish.  Wrap each trout in a piece of oiled aluminum foil and put them in a baking dish.  Bake in the center of a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven and open the foil packages to allow the trout to cook slightly.  Slice each fish among the underside and, with an appointed knife, carefully loosen the backbone. Ease the backbone out gently so that most of the small bones come away with it.  Set the trout aside to cool.

To make the sauce:  Beat the mustard, egg yolks, and vinegar together until well blended; season to taste with salt and pepper.  Gradually add butter to the egg mixture, beating all the time until the sauce has the consistency of thick cream. Finally, stir in the finely chopped herbs.

Before serving, peel the skin from the cold trout.  Cut each into two fillets.  Arrange on a serving dish.  Pour the sauce over the fillets.   Lay thin slices of cucumber on top of trout.

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