Monday, October 6, 2008

Am I being Stupid? Or are my Kids Over-reacting?

OK I need some weigh in from the masses here, PLEASE before I do something stupid. Or embarrassing.

I teach Sunday School with Daughter and Son - I've got the 2nd-3rd graders with Son, Daughter moved up (with some of our kids from last year) to the 4th/5th graders. It's a lot of fun and sometimes we successfully hold their attention long enough to teach them something. On a bad day we provide good crowd control and minimize physical assaults.

Mr. J teaches the 4th/5th graders with Daughter. He taught last year, too. (and maybe before that I don't know). He's a laid back, quiet, kind of quirky guy. A couple weeks ago he sent out an email asking for suggestions on corralling the rather boisterous boys in his group (I was not sorry to see them move up....). He admitted to having zero disciplinary skills. I fired back a suggestion for "catching them doing something good" that I used to use in my children's choir at the Baptist church years ago. (Oh yeah, I've been lots of variations of Christian - another post for another day....)

So he emails me back "Hey Sunday-School-Buddy" a request to catch some coffee or food somewhere sometime. Sounded good to me - the kids and I haven't really "found" our social niche in this church. We kind of float in and float out each Sunday. We are buried in high school activities, homework and work and haven't made time for church life outside of church, if you know what I mean.

SO what do you think of this? I think he's just a quirky guy who teaches Sunday school who wants to grab coffee and chat. My kids think he's a slightly strange man who is after something more. I have no idea how old he is - I'm guessing around my age. he could be a few years younger. I don't really know anything about him other than he seems totally devoted to the Sunday school program, he's always there, everyone seems to like him, and he has a goofy sense of humor.

Am I being an idiot here? Am I setting myself up for a problem? (I have a BF! Friend/Captain wouldn't be pleased if this were a date! And in fact I ran this by the Captain and he thinks it's nothing - so I'm not hiding anything). Or are my kids messing with my head?!



Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Suggestion: Include other Sunday School teachers in the coffee get together, to share ideas, etc. and to make it clear that the coffee is for Sunday School buddies and not something more.

Remember what Harry said in When Harry Met Sally:

Harry Burns: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.

Sally Albright: So, you're saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?

Harry Burns: No. You pretty much want to nail 'em too.

myra said...

Cheri couldn't have put it better. She quoted my favorite movie of all time, and really, I think there's some truth there, even for Sunday school teachers. Oh and by the way - The Captain just scored MAJOR points in my book for not being jealous. I say keep him around.

Persnickety Ticker said...

Yeah, I would definitely say don't do an alone thing with this guy. Make it a group effort. Even if the group has to be you and your kids and maybe a friend of your own or two. Just to be safe.

And I'm with Myra on Captain scoring major points on this one.

amanda said...

Is it a date if you have not intentions of it being one? Is her quirky enought to not realize the implications? I would include others so you are not one on one with said quirky man and it cannot be translated by anyone involved as a date...

Amy said...

I would recommend that you take your kids with you. (And tell him that) I mean it is Sunday School related and they are teachers there too. That way there would be no implications of it being a date.

ChiTown Girl said...

Yeah, what they said! ;-)

I would bring others along, maybe even the BF, since he's ok with the whole thing. That would surely give the message that you are NOT available. Plus, I'd make the kids come as a "punishment" for teasing you! ;-)

Tracy said...

He's interested in more than coffee.

Suz said...

I have to agree with all the other brilliant people who commented already. He is looking for something "outside" of church.
You are just nice and are not looking at it in this angle.
The kids are right. Gotta give them credit here. ;)
Let us know.
really, I am shocked that you teach sunday school. Do the folks at the church read your blog? Did they know about Vegas?
Just kidding!!!
Let us know....

dkuroiwa said...

yeah...uh-huh...what everyone else has said. Remember...there's safety in numbers...take the kids...invite others....If there is a chance that he's wanting more, then having others around would be a diversion and hopefully a really big clue that your're not really interested...and if all else fails, have The Captain call at 'the right time' and make a point of letting the guy know that you have someone special....sounds like high school again, but, if it works, do it!!

Katy said...

My first impression is that he's identified you as some one whose brain he can pick for ideas about his Sunday school class and would like to talk about it more with you rather than just via email.

You can always bring daughter with you when you meet up with him and have lots of ideas for Sunday school class. Maybe bring curriculum stuff with you too so it's clear to him that you're talking about school and it's not just a social thing.

The Girl Next Door said...

OK I have come to the conclusion that I am really naive.

Unfortunately, I have already vetted the idea of taking the kids but they are unavailable. And the meeting is set for tomorrow. Soooo I think I will email him and say, "Gee too bad we didn't think to invite Terry and the other teachers - it could've been a great exchange of ideas - want to reschedule when we can get more of us together? " Thoughts?

OH and for those who don't know - the Captain lives 1000 miles away, so he can't come with me ;-(

why can't things be simple?

OH and church does NOT know about my blog. Or Vegas. Although I think they'd love me anyway. Isn't that what it's supposed to be about? I think so...

Lisa Milton said...

I'm with Cheri. There's nothing wrong with a group thing - well, not *that* kind of group thing, unless...nevermind - to visit and have fellowship.

(Yes, I'm pulling out one of those funny church words.)

That way, you don't alienate someone who really might just need a friendly face, nor do you put yourself in an awkward 'I just want to be friends' sort of way.

DF said...

Please be careful, as there may be alternative issues here. Guys are usually not quite "with it" in the dating department and this sounds as if there may be some interest on his part in you. Only part of the story is presented, but as most have said, the more people there, the better.

dirtft said...

Going for coffee to discuss how you handled the boys he is now having problems with would not be considered a date. You said yourself you don't know much about him-he most likely doesn't know much about you.

You'll be in a coffehouse, preferably a busy one, so meeting him there should be the only precaution you'd need.

You can casually mention in the first meeting something like "My boyfriend has a nephew and he does this when he has a problem..."
or "when I was talking to my boyfriend..."

I still worry about you, but I know you can handlt this by yourself. Having others there wouldn't allow you to nip it in the bud without it getting really awkward.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I think the kids are just being kids. They always read something into boy/girl stuff at that age.
Have fun, and if he does seem to want more, just tell him the facts!

Rabidparadise said...

Your kids may be right...Captain may be right. But, if you want that niche you might want to go, and maybe he really does just want some advice. Give it a whirl and see if you make a new good friend. :-)