Some time after we had been married, I learned a very important fact about Mike. A fact so bizarre, I wasn’t sure I really knew the man I had married at all.
Mike had a perfect attendance record all throughout school.
We’re talking kindergarten, elementary school, junior high (back when it was called junior high) and high school. He was the kid that got an actual certificate at his high school graduation.
This seemed really weird to me at first, because Mike is not a straight A kind of guy. He’s a smart guy who cares just enough to do well, but doesn’t care too much. The perfect attendance thing didn’t seem to fit. But having been married to him for seven years, I now realize Mike’s the kind of person that thinks all injuries, illnesses and natural disasters are NO BIG DEAL.
Whenever other moms talk about the severity of their husbands’ man colds, I have no idea what they are talking about. Mike gets sick, does all the right things like goes to sleep early and drinks lots of fluids and then is better by the next day. This sucks because when I get sick and it lingers for weeks (as it tends to do), Mike has no sympathy because he thinks it’s because I don’t take care of myself.
Perfect Attendance Kid strikes again when deciding if Mazzy or Harlow are too sick to go to school. Mike’s verdict is always, “Nah! She’s fine!” even when I think they are clearly in need of a doctor. In our first few years of preschool, I would listen to him, thinking my maternal instinct was broken, only to have the nurse call to say Mazzy fell asleep at recess with a fever and send her home.
Then I have to remind myself— Oh, that’s right, you can’t listen to Mike about this kind of stuff because HE’S PERFECT ATTENDANCE KID. He’s been downplaying illness his whole life. HE HAS THE CERTIFICATE TO PROVE IT.
I’ve got my own issues back from when I was in school too.
I’m the girl who had a fear of missing out. I believe they call it FOMO, for short. I wanted to be present for every class birthday party, every field trip, every assembly— what if something super funny happened and I missed it? And then everyone was talking about the super funny thing for the next few weeks and I was out of the loop? I COULDN’T LET THAT HAPPEN!!!!
I’m finding experience the same fear whenever Mazzy might miss something.
Mike will suggest you go to the summer house for a weekend and I’ll say, “But we can’t go! Chelsea’s birthday party is that weekend!”
To which he’ll answer, “SO?”
Mike and I decided to take the kids skiing over President’s Day weekend, which means pulling Mazzy out of school Friday to make the drive. Yes, it’s weird that Perfect Attendance Kid (PAK) would let this happen, but I think PAK wants an extra day of skiing more than he wants to make sure his kid gets that graduation certificate. (But, if Mazzy decides she’s too sick to ski come Saturday, then Mike will have problems.)
Anyway, we were all set with our plan when I learned Friday is the 100th day of kindergarten. My heart sank like someone told me I was missing my own birthday. I went to talk Mike about cutting our trip a day shorter and Mike thought I had lost my mind.
“Mazzy can’t miss the 100th day of school! That’s a really big deal.”
“What do you mean? What’s the 100th day of school?”
“They’ve been leading up to it all year and they have an entire day of events planned. Mazzy brought in 100 pink hair bands for the occasion. She can’t miss it!”
“Are you serious? You want to miss a day of skiing for this?”
I tried my best to think of a way that Mazzy’s absence for this VERY IMPORTANT DAY wouldn’t be totally devastating (to me). I could not.
“She can’t miss it.” I repeated, hearing my twenty-year-old self deciding not to do a semester abroad in college because I didn’t want to lose all my friends while I was away. A decision I have always regretted.
The next day at school, I asked the teacher about the events of the 100th day, to gage the level of FOMO Mazzy (I) would experience. She had good news for me.
“Because of the snow day, the 100th day is pushed back to after President’s Day Weekend.”
“Really?! That’s awesome.” I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Mazzy wouldn’t miss anything after all.
The teacher continued, “The only thing she’ll miss is Valentine’s Day, but I’ll just save her cards for when she gets back.”
VALENTINE’S DAY????!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sadly, I realized I had to let it go.
On Friday, Mazzy will be missing her first Valentine’s Day with a card exchange in class. And she will be ruining any chance she had of getting a perfect attendance certificate at the end of her school career.
Hopefully, both her parents will survive.
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