“I hope that when you grow up that you have a child that acts exactly the way the you act” – that is the “Mothers Curse” according to Bill Cosby. He said in his stand-up “Bill Cosby – Himself” – “the mothers curse works”- let me tell you, it’s the truth.
I was having a pretty good day considering that I’m dealing with the two-year anniversary of my Dad’s death. Good meeting with a client. I heard from the Make-A-Wish Foundation that they have a wish child for me to start a campaign for. I got a call from the radio station I was on a few weeks ago that they want me to come back – which is pretty cool. I got to watch a full episode of Dr. Phil (which never happens) he had Casey Anthoney’s parents on, interviewing them about their daughter. There was so much innuendo it kept me compelled for the full 45ish minutes. Not a bad day, not bad at all.
I was on my way to pick up Kameron from choir practice when the shit hit the fan.
Driving down the road with my sunroof open, the radio loud, I was looking forward to hearing about Kameron’s day at school and choir practice. That’s when I got the call. Not a number I recognized, I answered the phone in a professional manner.
“Is this Kamerons mother?” I paused; the pit of my stomach started to hurt. “Yes” I said. “This is Mrs “X” from school, do you have a moment to talk?” What am I suppose to do – hang up on her? Suddenly I’m back in the principles office when I was in the 5th grade along with four of my classmates, not knowing our fate until Sister Mary Luke came to bestow it upon us for jacking around in class.
My head started to spin. Do you know that moment when you’re half way listening and ready to throw up? That’s where I was. I heard “cheating” – “on a test” – “note-cards in lap” – “caught” – “in-school suspension.” I said “excuse me?” She went on to say “his notes were poorly recorded in the back of his notebook – and something about 18.” I questioned “18? – 18 out of what – 20?” “No – 18 points out of 100.” I actually took my phone away from my ear and looked at it, surely this a joke – my son? She went on to explain how he got caught, the interaction after he got caught, the in-school suspension, and that he was going to be able to take the test again tomorrow. My blood was boiling, I’m not kidding. I don’t know if I’ve ever been this mad at Kameron. The teacher explained that she didn’t have the heart to not give him a chance to bring his grade up (even with the circumstances) and whatever he scored on the test tomorrow that she would deduct 10% off his final grade. As we continued to talk, and as I pulled into the schools parking lot, my voice must have gotten higher and louder. She said “don’t be too hard on him.” I told her I appreciated the suggestion, but unfortunately she was talking to the wrong woman.
When I was ending my call Kameron came outside, head hung in dismay. I looked at him, and thought of Algebra 101.
Mrs. McCurdy was old as mold. I mean she taught my mom Algebra in high school, and I had her as a freshman. I hated math, and still do to this day. I was a little more creative in cheating “if” I did on a test – I didn’t blatantly have note cards in my lap. We had pleated plaid uniform skirts in high school. I would write formulas, percentages, notes, anything on the inside of the pleat in that skirt. All I had to do was reposition my legs to find an answer. Odds were that McCurdy wasn’t going to notice, hell, half the time I think she was asleep. Same as doing homework with a friend over the phone that left their book in their locker at school, getting it done before our parents got home.
I got out of the car and walked towards Kameron asking if he had notes to study for the test he was going to retake tomorrow. “No” he said, which made me even more mad.
Walking back into school, I thought – there is no way we’re getting these notes. It was 4:20, the office was locked up. Going to the doors where the coveted lockers are (with the information needed) locked. Overwhelmed, I headed back towards the office , Kameron’s heavy footsteps behind me. I turned the corner and stopped. There was the custodian, chatting with a colleague or a parent, at this point it didn’t matter to me – I was on a mission. I interrupted their conversation (which I feel really bad about now) and asked if there was any way we could get to Kameron’s locker. The custodian looked at me, looked at Kameron, and looked back at me again and said – “Did you forget something buddy?” Kameron, with his head down said “yes.” He said “you’re lucky, I’m not usually here this time of day” and started walking towards the door. He opened the door and quietly walked away. I thanked him a couple of times then hustled up the stairs to get the notes Kameron needed to study tonight.
The drive home was quiet. We got home and I unplugged the Wii, Playstation, took away the DS, and the remote for the tv in Kameron’s room. He’s not getting them back until his progress report comes out in about a week, after that, depending on grades, we’ll see.
What I did do was to tell him that I didn’t expect him to be perfect all the time; (That is a genetic type A – first child syndrome curse.) I told him I would rather him do his best and get a C, than to cheat and get an A. I asked him if he believed me, and he said he did. I asked him to promise me that he would just do his best, he said he would.
That’s all I got.
The pic, by the way, is a very frustrated kid studying.