About five of my friends have sent me Jen Hatmaker's funny account of being the worst ever end-of-year mother, which has gone viral and was featured on "The Today Show." Not that I'm competitive, but I'll take her "limping" across the finish line and raise that to a: "Where are you Mum?" In my race, the finish line ribbon has been wrapped up and put away for next year, the orange bollards have been removed and the white-jacketed stewards have gone down to the pub for a pint. I'm still somewhere round the corner.
Mt Vesuvius of further effluvia: Tallulah and Cy filling the mudroom with a year of crapola, er, projects. Photo: Jody Brettkelly
I hadn't actually realized my son, Harley, 15, had finished school a week ago. Yes, I thought it was funny that he was sitting around watching TV all morning as well as all afternoon... but who knows? He's attends a private high school and let's face it, the more you pay, the less they go. A neighbor strung out balloons and "End of Year!" signs and I sort of got the picture. Harley has always maintained a consistent "insouciance" when it comes to school work. Why do a whole bunch of work when B's are so round? His report card came through and I was delighted that he got two A's... in Religions of the World and PE. I guess if all the Gods are on your side and you run really fast, you've got the bases covered.
"What about some improving academic courses over the summer?" I suggested optimistically to Harley.
"Better not," he said explaining further: "Someone's got to go to community college."
I turned up to Tallulah's (12) end-of-year party last night totally fried. "I'll look at your things and then we're going home" I said very grumpily, asking the teacher, "This is just a ten-minute thing right?" "No, it's an hour thing," she said. It turned out to be an hour of the most heart-wrenching, tear-plopping poems and speeches and slide shows. Of course, I felt like a complete a-hole for being such a grump at the beginning and kept trying to catch the teacher's eye, mouthing "Thank You!", waving and smiling and laughing crazily.
Cy, 9, ended the year with their traditional 'How-To" project. He told me last night his was "How To Make Rice Krispie Treats." My heart sank at the thought of all the cleaning up. But he knows me so well. "We're buying them ready-made," he said.
How to Make Rice Krispie Treats. Photo: Jody Brettkelly
Jackson, 13, is graduating today after being at his school for nine years. His older brother's jacket looks huge on him, but I couldn't face taking him to buy another. "In the Eighties everyone wore their jackets like that" I said, showing him pictures of A Flock of Seagulls. "Start a cool trend!" "Mum," he pleaded, "I look like a clown."
There's a chance I could raise my "F" to a F+, though. On Saturday night, we had our final school fundraiser of the year (for parents) at our house. Sunday morning, I made the kids help me clean up.
"Cy!!!" I heard Tallulah scold her younger brother: "Carry that vodka bottle with two hands." Making end of year memories?