Grades of Friendship

by Tara Lazar

Who does she think she is, blubbering to me about Jimmy, as if I should sympathize? Oh yes, I’m sure she’s worried about him skipping two grades — the social implications, the workload — boo-hoo, I’m really torn up, listening to her lament. I highly doubt her genes begat a genius with her husband the gainfully unemployed, her father the drunk, and her job bagging groceries three days a week; I’m the one who used to be the litigation attorney, for chrissake! It’s not as if I haven’t tried with Stephan, he's just a complex boy, requiring more structure than most teachers are willing or able to give. He is seeing a child psychologist for the outbursts and he’s made incredible strides within the last six months, identifying more letters, expressing himself more with words than gestures. I can see the emotion and caring in his eyes, and isn’t that what's most important?


Tara Lazar, author of Parkinson's, carries a writing notebook in her diaper bag so she can eavesdrop and write stories based upon the conversations of strangers. (Beware of mothers bearing pens.) You can find her not-so-anonymously here.