Remember the good old days (you know, "last week") when my teenage son told me I was waaaaay more of a hard....nose...than his friends' parents? Well, I may have redeemed myself just a little bit today--although it came with a mighty struggle, I tell ya. Here's what happened: I was out running errands when my phone started going crazy. Buzz buzz BUZZZZZZ it rumbled repeatedly, insistently demanding my attention. When I checked the screen, I saw 3 missed calls, all from some shady character identified as..."Derek". "Uh-oh," I thought, "I wonder what's wrong. Hmm...he could have forgotten his lunch--that certainly constitutes a crisis of epic proportions...at least in his world. Or...nah, that's about the only thing I can think of that would make him this frantic."
For whatever unfortunate reason, at that moment I seemed to be stationed in a bit of a dead zone, cell-coverage-wise. So the voicemail he left didn't actually record. But the 4 texts he sent, all of which just said "Mom" managed to get through. After pulling into the grocery store parking lot and determining that I once again had service (literally across the street from where I had been 30 seconds before--who knows how these mysterious "bars" work?) I messaged him back, something along the lines of "Good grief, child, what the HECK do you need?" Once he figured out that I was tuned in, he called again. In a slightly breathless rush he said,"I don't have an exam this afternoon, and I'd only be missing one class, so can I come home after lunch?"
My jaw dropped as I sat there struggling to process this downright alarming and unprecedented request. Into the silence he interjected what I'm sure he hoped would be convincing information for his argument, "Mac's (not his real name...to protect the identity of the co-conspirator) mom is picking him up, and she'll bring me home, too, so you don't have to do anything!" Oh, that's just dandy--like I need Parental Peer Pressure to cope with when making this decision? (Once-removed, I suppose, since it was actually coming from the offspring, and not the adult...but still! I felt the heat!)
When I'd taken a moment to gather my wits, I began the logical process of fact-finding: "So, you had your Spanish exam this morning?" "Yeah!" he cheerfully replied, and added for good measure, "I think it went well, too!" "And this afternoon's test block is reserved for the slot when you have Study Period, right?" He confirmed this, then assured me, "And in History, we've already finished our review, so I wouldn't be missing anything important anyway." I asked which tests he still had to take. "History and Math (which out of all his subjects, would have to be considered his nemesis) ...but I already met with Ms. R (the Numbers Lady) to go over some stuff, and she told me what to study, so I should be okay."
I was wavering, yet still vaguely uneasy about the whole thing...I mean, even considering such an act of....academic non-compliance...is soooooooo out-of-character for me. And the fact that this is High School...and they can just WALK OUT...no note....no Mom stopping by the office to sign the attendance book....continues to utterly boggle my mind. (I waited all afternoon for the Skipping Class Police to call and, I don't know, scold me harshly? Require a written excuse delivered by a certain time, or else it would go down on my...I mean HIS permanent record? Yeah, clearly, I'm not cut out for this kind of rebellious behavior...)
In the end, after exacting a promise that he will, in fact, budget an ample amount of time this evening to prepare for his finals, I agreed to let him execute the jailbreak with his buddy and their getaway driver, "Mac's mother". Oh, and I also warned him that he should NOT expect this to become a regular occurrence...such as later this week when all of his exams are over. Oh no, mister, your butt is staying in school until the bitter end--which would be "Friday at about 1:30".
Then, their only-reluctantly-approved choices were further rewarded, if you can believe it, by the aforementioned parental accomplice dropping Derek, his ex-cellmate, and a third pal--whose familial authority figures apparently are also on board with the whole "Get Out of School Free" policy--at a local restaurant where they bought themselves a nice lunch...alone! Sheesh! (Again, no one called to complain, so I guess I can assume they comported themselves appropriately. Fingers crossed...also it's only fair to note that the Mom in charge made them sit down and do some homework before turning them loose for food. So there was at least a tiny amount of discipline involved in this caper...)
Here's the thing: suddenly, after years of being--let's face it--sheltered and supervised, Derek seems to be spreading his wings in a big way. Is it any wonder I'm just a wee bit...discomposed? Happily, we live in a very safe little suburb...and he has fallen in with what appears to be a quality group of guys. However...I have a feeling this has the potential to be an...interesting...Summer...y'all!