"Really?!" I wanted to say, "If my kid is late then you know I'm REALLY late. I still have to get to work, you know." I mean, how else can we afford to live in the house that affords my daughter the right to go to such a good school?
Driving into the school drop off zone, I would try to come to a rolling stop as I said to my sweet child, "I'm sure you're not late. It's probably just the first bell," I would say as I encouraged her to go ahead into school.
"But Mom," she would say, "you know we're late. The teachers aren't out here anymore and there are no other cars in drop off." She was right, of course. All of the good mothers had already been and gone.
Parking illegally in the drop off zone, I would take my sweet girl to the office so I could be judged. It was bitter medicine. My girl was here! Here, bathed, clothed and homework done. I'm not a complete failure. (Am I ?) Am I traumatizing my kid?
So each day I would smile as I wrote down our excuse in the log. "Car wouldn't start; Alarm didn't go off," that sort of thing. Once I wrote, "You don't even want to know".
Did I tell you the secretary reads what I've written in the log before she issues the admission slip? Often she read while pursing her lips to look at me. She thinks carefully before deciding if my reason is acceptable. Finally, she writes the admission slip for my cherub. The "Get Into Class Free" card. "Yes," she decides, "this little girl will get her free public education today". I'm thankful and I'm sheepish and I'm grateful.
"Yes," I say to myself, "even children with flaky working mothers deserve their education".