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The School Year in Review

Admittedly, my blog took a seriously unintentional hiatus. I’d like to call it more of a sabbatical as I transitioned my firm away from an unhealthy partnership and was forced to spend most of my energy on my kids this school year. So I apologize to my 12 faithful readers. Frankly, I had a trying year as a parent trying to get the best out one of my kids and I wasn’t willing to write about it in the frame of mind I was in.

But, lately, I’ve had the urge to write about things that happen. Unfortunately, by the time I sit down on a Sunday night, I’ve already forgotten what thing I wanted to brag about. However, with the school year ending and me pulling another “hero dad” move, I figured I needed to memorialize some things.

I think the best way to summarize this school year is in the words of one of my good friends who likes to take shots any chance he can (it’s okay, I return the favor all the time…that’s one of the reasons we’re such good friends). In trying to coordinate 9 guys for a new monthly poker night, he said, “since King is a single mom and has limited time, . . . let’s throw out the best week of the month.” I laughed to myself because, while it was an obvious jab, it really hit the mark. I admittedly take on a lot of things that are typically reserved for the “mom.” Emotional support, taxi, sports support, etc. I don’t mean to sound like a male chauvinist and to my defense, at least one lacrosse mom followed suit in the gender-role assumptions.

I was called out for failing to bring the required “voluntary” goods to sell at the lacrosse snack bar this past Spring. When I responded to the mom in charge that I never received the schedule, she said, “I think I just sent it to the moms, so you may not have received it.” Fair enough. However, I pay for everything related to my son’s school and the lacrosse team. And while I don’t need kudos, I certainly don’t need to be cut out of the information train. “I pay for everything, so I need to be included on all such emails in the future,” was along the lines of what I said. What I wanted to say was, “I do 95% of the driving, 100% of the school oversight, and 100% of all school and sport-related costs, so don’t treat me like the dads who fold their arms and stand at the fence while you ladies all gossip missing your son’s awesome assist, goal, block, etc.” (I videotaped most of the games and have audio evidence.) In short, give me the credit for being the mom-dad that I am.

And with that, I will somehow segue to my School Year in Review list because this seems like the best way to encapsulate the year I had. It probably won’t review most of the year, but I don’t really care because you’ll read it anyway and forget the point of this list. And with that, here we go:

  • 1.  The quickest way to reduce jr. high drama is…to simply ignore the crazies who create it. I learned that my 7th grade daughter was viewed as a leader not only for her good citizenship, but also for her diplomacy. And no glory-seeking, OC Housewife wanna-be mom could do anything to take that away or ruin a perfectly capable cheer program, despite her micro-managing.
  • 2.  There is no amount of screaming and lecturing that will make a horse drink that water you brought him to. But, if you take away his iPhone, you get results.

Pretty much sums it up.

  • 3.  When you say, “this is the last time I’m going to scream and lecture you,” just laugh at yourself because it’s not even close to the last time.
  • 4.  Staying with that theme, school performance misery loves company and there’s no shortage of company when it comes to freshman boys.
  • 5.  I will never run out of opportunities to be my daughter’s hero.
  • 6.  If you tell your daughter she can delete 1,000 photos from her iPhone without checking to make sure she properly saved to her iPhoto catalog, it only costs $50.00 to download the recovery program. (See No. 5, above.)
  • 7.  My kids will never rob me of the opportunity to say, “I told you so.” Ever. The art of being a dad is knowing exactly when and how to say it…usually well after any tears. In any event, it’s nice when a better more glamorous door opens after a normal one closes.
  • 8.  My son can take a hit. And he plays through pain because of his pride. Every dad hopes this is the case with his son. Every dad also hopes that his son doesn’t stick his finger down his throat to puke so he can skip wind sprints at practice (Not my son.)
  • 9.  Boys have no loyalty to each other, no matter how much your son may have stood up for the other the prior year and stuck by him.
  • 10.  Your kids will most likely figure out who their true friends are without a word from you. And when they finally verbalize it, it is sweet to say, “I agree with you.”
  • 11.  15-year old boys punch hard. They block punches hard, too. It is not child abuse to trade punches with your son. It’s masochism.
  • 12.  A loud night with twelve 13-year old girls screaming for Taylor Lautner to take off his shirt is all worth it when one of them says, “You make the best pancakes (chocolate chip), Mr. Sir (my new nickname amongst a gaggle of girls)” the next morning. Singing an old 80s dance mix in a car full of girls is the fastest way to becoming the “cool dad.”

If I had to hear it, you get the visual too. He'll always be Shark Boy to me.

  • 13.  A “golden sombrero” is what it’s called when your son scores 4 goals in one game.  ”Bragging” is what you call it when you tell everyone in a blog and FB post (with video).
  • 14.  There is no event involving my daughter that doesn’t require shopping for a new dress and shoes. Thankfully, I have a friend who always seems to have the perfect accessories.
  • 15.  And, lastly, you can wash 3 pairs of the same color khakis, fold them and stack them together, and your son will still just wear the same pair all week, denying that he did without thinking that the paint from whatever class that stained his pants is a dead giveaway.

Happy End-of-Year Stuff,

Bill

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