The boy in the trunk

I received my first call from the principal’s office the beginning of the school year.

I really wasn’t expecting it because for the first month of school their automated lunch reminder was on the fritz. I was used to getting calls every day telling me that my lunch account had a remainder of $0.99. Payment will be necessary or service will be denied. Good thing I didn’t hang up right away expecting the automated message. Otherwise I probably would’ve had my picture on the bad parent bulletin board that I suspect administrators, teachers, and staff have to throw darts at when they really get pissed off at our kids.

It started back in grade school, the first call from the principal’s office. Back in those days, my son and a few of his buddies decided to moon the kids on the playground. They all got suspended for a few days.

Most of the calls I received over the years were for similar mischievous pranks. This time was no different than many of the others.

It was the Friday of homecoming when my son decided to leave the school at lunch with a group of friends (against school rules for sophomores). There were so many friends in his (my) car that there really wasn’t enough room for them all (probationary license violation). So his friend Jay decided that he wanted to be transported to the local fast food dive in the trunk (wrong on so many levels). Seriously, what if my son got rear ended?

Not long after that, I received a visitor that came calling to my door late on a Friday night.

Just a little recap of other visitors that came calling to my door late on a Friday night.

There was a boy named Jake, his mom came to my door to say he ran away. (We found out later that Jake was hiding out at Isaac’s house). In the meantime, his dad flew in from the east coast. We scoured the corn fields, pinpointed stops along railroad track maps, printed out posters with his picture, and searched abandoned buildings, new construction, and storage sheds all while his grandmother cried. Not a good knock on the door.

There was another Friday night door knock from another parent regarding bullying that Isaac did to another boy. That was the first warning bell that went off that something wasn’t right about his friend Isaac. Eventually he got expelled from school for selling drugs. His mother said that he had aspirations of being a pharmacist. Wow, while in middle school. **((*^&*%%$&^$!!!!!

We received another late Friday night knock saying that Isaac ran away.  A few months ago, Isaac moved away. This will (hopefully) be the last time that I mention his name.

The latest Friday night knock on the door was from Jay’s mom. She stopped by to scream at me. Apparently, my son had an agreement with Jay that he would give him unlimited rides this year if Jay does it next year. Jay’s mom was pissed off that she had to pick up her son. Don’t I know that she works third shift?? She screamed at me and before I could say a word, she sped off squealing tires.

I could understand completely if she was mad that my son drove around with her son in the trunk of the car. I just don’t get some of these parents! Really?

Then a miracle happened…. My son said that he wanted to get into a good college. He said that his goal was to be on the honor roll. I almost passed out. For the past three years he failed so many classes that he was on the edge of having to take summer remedial classes.

What happened?? Did he want to prove to his new girlfriend that he was smart? Was it because the bad kid moved away? Was it all of grandma’s extra prayers?? Or is he just finally growing up?? This past quarter he almost made the honor roll. To me it is not achieving being on the honor roll that matters as much as the striving for it. He cares enough now to try for it.

And to think that I thought my best option was to avoid being home on a Friday night!

 

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