Why My Kids Will Never Win A Perfect Attendance Award

I've had this one in my home in some form or fashion for almost twenty years. This MOVES me.

Look. The perfect attendance award at school is a sham. It is. There is no real accomplishment attached to being at school Every. Single. Day.

First of all, the probability of your kid making it through the school year without some kind of significant illness is akin to lottery odds. Therefore, a kid with perfect attendance in June will have literally poisoned the competition.

His or her teacher does not thank you. Trust me. I have met dripping snot students at the door of my classroom and refused them admittance. Especially the years when I was pregnant and cough syrup and Sudafed were out of my reach.

Oh no. You are not bringing that in here. To the nurse you go.

SARS aside, there is no real reason for kids to be at school every single day. After all, adults don’t go to work every single day, and school is waaaay more taxing for a kid’s brain than work is for an adult’s.

You think I’m crazy?

Kids don’t buy shoes online at school, and retirees and SAHMs are not the only reason that Cyber Monday has become the busiest shopping day of the year.

Just saying.

I come from a long line of skipping school for good reasons. Like Disneyland. Disneyland is the perfect reason to skip school. No one in their right mind goes to DLand on the weekends, or during the summer, so once or twice a year my brothers and I would wake up late to the smell of pancakes on a school day.

It could only mean one thing: Mickey shaped pretzels in our immediate future.

Vacation is another solid reason to miss school. One of Kate’s friends is in Maui this week. Her parents are brilliant. It’s the perfect time to hit Maui. Who wants to go to Hawaii in the summer? What would be the point of that?

Your kids’ teachers will only care if 1) It’s state testing time—but you know where we stand on that; opting out of testing to hit Washington DC makes all kinds of sense or 2) It’s finals time—and we agree there: DO NOT miss finals. It messes with the grading.

Sometimes, I keep my kids home just because. A few weeks ago we missed the Jog-A-Thon, which is a big deal at our school. Seriously—a lot of kids run ten miles or more at this thing. They raised $63,000.

It happened to fall on the same day as my dad’s 70th birthday, and he was in town. There was no way my kids were going to school that day, not when there was a birthday picnic to be had.

They will be checking out early the next two Fridays so that we can attend football games, one at Oregon State and one at Oregon. Gabe happens to be playing in the one at Oregon. That’s a great reason to miss school.

Come June, my kids will sit quietly while the Perfect Attendance kids are called up at the awards assembly. They’ll turn to find me in the crowd, like Gabe did last year, to give me a shrug and a smile. Or tell their friends, like Kate did, “That will never be me. I will never get perfect attendance. We have to miss school. It’s like a rule in our family.”

Yep. There are adventures to be had and we will be having them. No certificates required.


One thought on “Why My Kids Will Never Win A Perfect Attendance Award

  1. Just took my kiddos to Disneyland. Thankful and a memory they will soon not forget. As a teacher we take “mental days” our kids too.

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