I saw one of my students when I was out shopping this afternoon. That doesn't happen quite as often as it could, considering I live and work in the same small county. Even so, over the years I've had some memorable encounters. There was the girl who screamed and ran away to hide in Target, the mother who did not recognize me and chased me down in the grocery store after she saw me talking with her son in the produce section, and the family who quite insistently invited me out for lunch right then and there (I declined, several times).
Today, though, it was hard to tall if my student actually saw me, although at one point he nearly collided with me. I pulled up short and he jetted on his way without a word. Such behavior is not out of character for him, and if I had approached his mother, it definitely would have been to express my concerns about him. As it turned out, I didn't speak to them, even though we were in parallel lanes checking out at the same time. I was watching him as I waited, and had he acknowledged me, I would have gone over. His attention was intensely directed at several things for very short spans of time, and I wondered if he was avoiding me.
When we were done at the register, they were, too, and since they were closer to the door, we walked out behind them. Well, we walked, and so did his mom, but he literally danced his way out the door and across the parking lot.
"Yeah," Heidi said, "I think his mom has probably heard what you were going to say before. Maybe more than once."