I’m Late, I’m Late


We’re at the end of the first quarter, and my thirteen year old daughter still likes her teachers, so we’re off to a good start. Or we were, until last week.

“How was your day at school?”


OMG is it time for the noncommittal shrug already? I was sure I had at least another three months. “Did you have fun? Did you spend time with your friends? Did you duck into the girl’s bathroom to smoke a cigarette?” Blank stare, followed by a small smile.

“You know I stopped smoking last week—can’t afford cigarettes on my allowance.” Long pause. “I was late to P.E.”

“You were late to P.E.?” my pulse starts racing. How is this possible? I was never late to class—must be her father’s genes. I take a sip of water. Well, it wasn’t water, but this is my story, and I can change the details if I want. “How did it happen?”

“Well, when the lunch bell rang, I thought it was wrong, because it seemed too soon for it to be over. Then when I tried to get to my locker to get my math book, everyone else was there too.”

“Your math book? Don’t you have math before lunch?”

“Well, yes, but I needed it for homework.”

Last year, my daughter was always forgetting her book, or her project, or her lunch. Now that she’s a big eighth grader she’s trying to be more responsible. She’s done a better job with the R word than I ever have. Must be her father’s genes.


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