I was doing laundry and packing for our upcoming trip to put my father’s ashes in the ground. Spring Break wasn’t exactly a cheery occasion for us to prepare for, but we were looking forward to finally laying my father to rest with a few of our own personal touches.
As I tried to pack in spurts, we were slammed with nonstop high school jazz band events and a nightmarish two weeks of seventh grade. The latter involved multiple projects, a massive genetics and cell cycle test, and endless homework, none of which was spaced out or staggered. My poor daughter was up until 11 PM most nights making sure she checked off her own assignment lists.
She went out the door one morning a complete zombie. She could barely eat, put her contacts in, etc. She was so rundown and discouraged. Her only sentence this particular morning was:
“I have to go back to school and get more homework to come home to.”
I finally put my foot down and respectfully told the guidance counselor: “Enough! She has worked conscientiously and nonstop for weeks. On my instruction she isn’t doing homework tonight. I’m just letting you know.”
[My husband and I are both products of public schooling and strongly believe in it, but we shouldn’t have to give our daughter an espresso drink to wake her up enough in the morning to head out to school. This is middle school, not college.]
My son, on the other hand, had a band event in which students were driving themselves and taking several other students along. Major highways. An hour away. Rush hour traffic. Seven teens in a van with a teen driver. I adore our school music program, but um, no! Because our car was in the shop, we could not drive. I gently asked our fantastic band director to please place my son with an adult driver, and if not, my husband and I were not comfortable sending him to the event. I hated confronting this, but this was my limit.
Sometimes, when we are beyond defending ourselves and fall weary in a heap onto the floor Read the rest of this entry »