The names of some people in this story have been changed to protect their identities.
At Noah's school Halloween party, a mom came up to me, all smiles. "I'm Shanaynay's mother," she cooed, her head bent toward mine as the little ones lined up in their costumes for the big Halloween Parade.
I know it's wrong of me on many levels, but I don't much like Parents-At-School. It totally stems from my job. Now it carries over into, well, my other job.
"Oh, it's nice to meet you," I said, hoping my smile didn't look forced and fake the way my mother always says it does (usually with a good healthy shove).
"I just want you to know," she went on (because they always go on), "that Shanaynay just LOOOVES Noah. She talks about him all the time. At the dinner table, it's always about Noah--"
I was instantly nervous. "Does she say anything bad?" Because if this woman is like me, she finds the mischievous, "Oh my God" stories the funniest.
"Oh, no. Just so cute the way she talks about him."
I forgot about this until yesterday. Noah was using Play-Doh at the kitchen counter. I like to sit and chat with him during times like this, because he's very fun to talk to.
"Noah," I said. Okay. I probably cooed it. But if you knew him, you'd know he was worth it.
"Do you know that Shanaynay likes you best out of all the friends at school? You're her favorite."
"I am?" He patted his Play-Doh into a happy green flapjack.
"Yup. I bet it's because you are such a nice, kind boy, and because you're also very fun, and--"
"No, Mom," he interrupted, not looking up from his Work. "It's because I'm cool. That's why she likes me best."