Friday, August 20, 2010

"If it was completely different, school would be great."

If you read my blog regularly you know Beav is back in school this week and I think it’s insanely early to be starting school. One reason it’s too early is the weather; it’s hot this time of year and most of the school isn’t air conditioned. I don’t know about your but I always found a close and overly warm room most conducive to learning. But The Beav is taking this whole back-to school thing like a man, going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting up on time. It seems like yesterday he was the little boy on the kindergarten playground in his jammies. Four years ago he was the kid who looked like he slept in his clothes to save time in the morning. (I let him but the negotiating lynch pin was he had to brush his teeth. I chose my battles with this one) But last year was a magic year, not only did he get up on time without a bunch of drama, he volunteered to shower without being begged. The angels who live with us were able to unplug their noses and sing hallelujah.

Back-to-school also means two other things: forms to fill out and being nickle and dimed to death. Five bucks here, fifteen bucks there, twenty over there. And this is after I shelled out a Benjamin and Grant and Lincoln last week for fees. Fortunately, after fifteen years of this particular rodeo I know to plan for the slow fiscal bleed that marks the middle of August.

One of the yearly forms I must complete makes me cranky. The Reading Permission Slip. Maybe I’m like a crack mom or too lenient or neglectful or something but I trust my son’s teachers to make prudent decisions about the reading curriculum and don’t feel a need to sign a permission slip for my son to read bits and pieces of the European and American canons. It’s not like Screw magazine is suddenly relevant to a high school English class. Ok…not relevant in a scholastic sense. And with Wally? I was just happy he was reading a book that wasn’t a graphic novel. Last year, I embarrassed Beav to death because I wrote a ranty message on the bottom of his reading permission slip. I told her how sorry I was his literature teacher worked in a district which smothered creativity and extolled censorship as a virtue. This year, I asked if he would like me to review his American Literature reading list and pick out the things I thought were boring and useless to high school sophomores for a “Can Not Read” list for his teacher. He chuckled and then assured me this wasn’t necessary. Can you imagine the look on the teacher’s face? Dear Ms. Teacher, James Fennimore Cooper is counter to our religious and soul felt belief literature should be well written and relevant. Yours sincerely, June Cleaver. I also have to give him permission to watch PG 13 films used to support pieces of literature they study. My guess is the parents bitched up about PG 13 films have kids who spend time at their friends’ houses drinking stolen beer and watching soft core porn on Cinamax.

This year the form that induced multiple eye rolls was the standard emergency contact form which also includes who isn’t supposed to pick up your kid. I think this is mandatory information for kids who aren’t old enough to buy cigarettes drive cars or don’t have the intellectual or emotional capacity to say no or whack job Lolita types who favor “older” men. But for this sixteen year old? I mean really, the kid makes better decisions than his parents. But despite my whining about the rules and procedures I do what I’m told. So I’m dutifully and by rote filling in my numbers, Ward and Alexis’ contact information and TG’s numbers when I get to the last line which asks me “who else will be allowed to pick up your ‘child‘?”

I was so tempted to write: “Everyone but creepy guys in vans who promise puppies and candy, Catholic priests or Crack dealers may give my son a ride home. And if he gets a ride home with a creepy guy, priest or dealer makes sure they are going somewhere to watch PG 13 movies and read smutty novels”

I think I may do this his senior year just to see if anyone notices.

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