Last year, our superintendent retired and a new one was hired. At the end of the year, the new hire (let’s call him Mr. S) went around to all the schools to meet the new staff. He came to our school on field day, which is a huge outdoor K-6 event. It’s a blast. Last years took place on a bright sunny day after a week of rain. I had been leading parachute games, and over the course of a few hours had sat, laid down, and slid in the mud left behind on the fields. I was in cut off jeans and a t-shirt, and pretty thoroughly covered in muck. When I met Mr. S, I had to wipe my muddy hand off on my muddy jeans to shake his hand. He was a very good sport about it, and in my defense I was one of many scruffy, muddy teachers.
The next time I ran into him was this fall. It was a cool, rainy day, the kind where you wake up and think “No, I do not want to dress like a professional.” Luckily for me my school is ok with that, so I pulled on a giant sweatshirt and my comfiest jeans. When I ran into Mr. S at school that day, I cringed slightly at my outfit, even though I knew he was aware that our school has a very relaxed dress code.
The next time, I assured myself, I would be dressed like a grown up. A professional, even! Unsurprisingly, that was not the case.
It was pajama day. Kids love to wear their pajamas. They always want to have an official pajama day on the last day before a vacation. Every time, I remind them that technically, they can wear PJs whenever they want! But the fun, of course, is in all of us wearing them at once. For the first PJ day this year, I wore sweatpants and a flannel shirt. This was not enough, according to the kids. Those were merely comfy clothes, NOT pjs. Next time, I upped my game. I borrowed a fuzzy blue two piece flannel PJ set from my mom. It even had stars and moons on it! I wore it with my head held high.
Towards the end of the day, I went to pick my class up from art, which they had gone to straight from recess. I hadn’t seen them since before lunch, since my assistant had them while I was in a meeting. As I waited at the art room door, I ran into Mr. S. We chatted briefly, exchanged pleasantries. I saw him notice my unusual outfit, but put on a polite, understanding smile. “Pajama day?” He inquired. I nodded and started to explain.
Before I could, however, the art room door opened and my class filed out. Unbeknownst to me, they had all changed out of their PJs for recess, and not had time to change back yet. Every single one of them was in regular clothes.
So there I was, face to face with the superintendent of schools, wearing pajamas for no discernible reason. I decided trying to explain would only make it more awkward. So I smiled at him, and walked away with as much dignity as an adult woman wearing pajamas at work can muster.
The kids, needless to say, were very entertained by the whole process.