Did have a bit of a jolt the other day, though. As a teacher your kids like, being reflexively and accidentally called "Dad" is not that unusual. The kids think of you in a guiding/caring/protecting role, and if they're thinking about an assignment and need you, the first thing that comes into a mind is not "teacher" when they think about those roles, especially if they like you and they're used to having you around. Normally, when this happens, I snicker at the kid, inform the child that were they mine, they would receive daily beatings for their behavior (which is of course my code for "you're a good kid" as always, and they know it) and ask what they want.
So this happened Wednesday. Sweet, overenergized, overintelligent punkoid kid, her lil' mind eagerly chewing away on the mental challenges I'd set before the class, makes the slip. I'm sitting a desk away talking with another student and I get "Dad, can you help me with this?" Not all that unusual. What was unusual was my reaction.
Never before in my life has the appellation "Dad" had any effect on me, and I've not identified with it even in the slightest. I consider the line between teaching and parenting pretty clear. Apparently though, unbeknownst to me, the ol' brain has been gradually climbing into "Dad shoes" without me realizing it. It wasn't a conscious thing - it was simply "you have been addressed" and I answered.
Immediately after I answered and as kids were snickering at the girl, I realized what had happened and the jolt was so strong I'm surprised I didn't blow any electronics out. Dear lord having mercy Mary Mother Joseph and his camel, I JUST RESPONDED TO THE TITLE OF FATHER.
I think there are still scorchmarks in the bottoms of my shoes.
Note to self and future dads: while not as publicized or as well-known, you too will have occasional massive emotional shocks on this nine month march.
"Dad." Holy gawd. I'm going to have to get used to that before it's my turn. I dunno. I'm not sure what title seems appropriate for me. I was thinking more, "El Patron." Sounds more intimidating.