Note: Blogger is being a bugger this morning, so I am posting this later than I had wanted to.
This morning my daughter is heading to the airport with a friend to go visit one of the universities to which they both applied and got accepted. And it just so happens that it is also the university her gay brother attends. The girls will stay with him and he will do his best to play city ambassador and chamber of commerce member all at once. He’d love nothing more than to have his little sister right there where he can guide her, keep an eye on her, and just plain give her a hug when the mood strikes him. Saying the two of them are close is definitely an understatement. And I must admit, there would be a certain measure of relief for this mom knowing that her baby girl is in the same city as one of her protective, loving older brothers.
But along with my daughter’s departure from town this morning, a school day no less, comes a mandatory chore I simply dread. No wait ----- maybe "dread" is too subtle a word. My heartbeat actually revs up, my palms get clammy, and my stomach sort of does these funny little flip-flops in anticipation of this task. So what is this task I dread so much? It’s calling in to excuse her absence from school. Why? Because it is a Catholic school and it is run, as my boys used to tease their sister, like a prison camp with the barbed wire turned in. But seriously, every time I have dealings with this school my knees go wobbly and my nerves are in rapid-fire mode. The memories of my own Catholic School days come rushing back and my reactions are so ingrained and Pavlovian in nature that I know there is no way to avoid them. The memories of the nuns that ran my elementary school are pretty scary ----- some of those women of the cloth were so mean they inspired nasty reactions that stay with me even to this day as an adult.
In fairness though, I must admit that my daughter has assured me that the few nuns that remain at her school are actually pretty nice. It’s some of the lay teachers and deans at her school that more resemble the nuns I remember from my childhood days.
With all that said, I’m very happy to report that I got through the phone call just fine. My heart has settled down and I’m calmly enjoying a cup of coffee before getting to work. But I have to confess, I cheated just a little. I called very early this morning when I knew no one would be in the office yet and I left a message. Heh – that’ll teach em.