Before the kids left on their wild excursion to DC,
there was a “parent meeting.” The meeting my husband and I later called the “Scared Straight Parenting Talk.”
In addition to no phones, there were also other rules:
- If your child is noisy enough to disturb the guests in the next room, and they complain, your child will be moved, at your expense.
- If your child misbehaves, we will put them on a plane and send them home. You will pay for the ticket.
You may think you don’t have to worry about your own child — but in this situation, you need to start thinking about his roommates; his peers, and all those parenting books you failed to finish, the sleep that came before you had a chance to finish your prayers, or the chapters that motivated you to make some changes, and you didn’t — all of this comes flying in your face at lightening speed at moments like these.
And then, when you don’t get those phone calls from the principal, and your son sits with you during a 3-hour car ride, and talks with awe about all the sites he saw; and asks you questions about “Who exactly is the unknown soldier?” you simply smile. That despite all or our shortcomings as parents, through some miracle beyond us, he’s a really great kid.
Washington DC, May 2010, through the eyes of an 8th grader seeing the city for the first time.
Now, we just have to get through this trip three more times, with three more boys..
Washington DC Capital building created through Shape Collage.