A few years ago, one of our school parents, who works for one of the Embassies represented at our school, strolled into the office and handed us an invitation to a dinner reception. Wow, we thought. Plain ol' us? You want us to come? We went. It was lovely. Everyone was all dressed up. There were beautiful tables of food. Photographers were following us around to snap our picture when we were near anyone important.
And then a couple walked up, another set of school parents associated with another Embassy, and said, "What in the world are you doing here?" Umm. We were invited. But something happened that evening and when different embassy school parents saw us there, they began to say, "Hey! If you are coming to THIS country's reception, you have to come to MINE!"
And we started getting invitations right and left! We try to go to as many as possible, when we feel we haven't been away from our own kids too much, or when they are late enough that we can tuck in bed before we go. But we seriously could go to several a month sometimes.
Last night we were graciously invited to the Romanian Embassy reception in honor of their National Day. A group of us walked in, shook the Ambassador's hand, as well as every other important person in the receiving line, then entered the ballroom. You should have seen the look on our little 6th grader's face when she saw us. "Mom, they CAME!!!" She was dressed in traditional Romanian clothing. She was the only child present, but had to be there out of respect for her dad, 2nd in command in the Embassy. Later, her mother came up to me and said, "All of my dignitary friends were commenting about what nice teachers and principals would come to this to honor my daughter and her country. Thank you so much for coming. " And I wanted to say, "Really? You are thanking me? I love this job!"