Saturday's mail brought a mortifying delivery - a letter from the school district informing us that we are in danger of having a truancy complaint filed against us because Lily had three unexcused absences. I opened the notice and stood there stunned. I had to re-read it several times before I could even process what it said. And then I died of embarrassment right there in the living room.
It's all my fault that we got this letter, and I know it. I'm the one who forgot to send notes in to school after Lily's absences. I'd remember that I needed to do it, but somewhere between remembering and actually writing the notes, I'd get distracted and nothing would happen.
Once I got over my embarrassment (which comes back every time B teases me about my truant child), I started railing against the system that threatens the parents of elementary school students with truancy complaints.
Lily gets dropped at the school door every morning by me or one of the other parents in our carpool group, so it's not like I'm sending her out the door and she's deciding to cut. We take education seriously in our house, so if I let either of the girls stay home, it's because of illness, not because I'm letting them play hooky. I really am a responsible parent, except when it comes to writing excuse notes.
So this morning I went in to school and talked to the attendance lady about the letter, and she let me write excuse notes for the three absences in question. She said she's not sure if there is a time limit on excuses, but that she would enter the notes in the system and see what happened.
Once I finished pleading my case and telling the attendance lady what a good mom I am, I had to inform her that Ella and Lily will be missing two days of school for their upcoming trip to Washington, DC.
Which blew my arguments for being a good mom who makes her kids go to school right out of the water.