Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It was a cold rainy Saturday night...


and my FF and I headed out of the house.  Heels and a dress, pearls.  J's sister watching the kids until bedtime when our oldest feels confident to take over.  Where are we off to?  Dinner, dancing, the theatre?  Nope, a Homecoming dance.  My kids BEGGED and BEGGED me to chaperone and I gave in.  J usually joins me and tonight was no different.  We make our way to the school and into the gym.  The Senior Class president yells from the balcony, "Hey, H______!!!  How do you like my sad little balloon arches!"  and laughs.  They would not stay up.  We admired the pictures from the last 50+ years that the kids had blown up and put all over.  Laughed at the gaggle o' nuns from the 50s, fully habited in the stands for a basketball game.  Chatted with the other staff members.  It started out very well.

The kids came in, stopped at the photo booths for goofy pictures, came screeching to show me they dresses, the guys game to strut.  So funny.  About 8:30pm, I looked at my husband and fussed about how slow the night was going.  Oh my goodness, I know better than to say that.  I am a FF Wife for crying out loud.  I chided my hubby the night before when told how slow it had been all day.  Sure enough, as soon as he hung with me it was run after run after run.  Why would I actually say something like that out loud?? Me and my big mouth!


Fifteen minutes later, one of my kids pulled me aside.  "H, you need to do something about Suzy, she is REALLY drunk!" And so it began.  Now, mind you, I was not in charge. Our admin left, the student council advisers were at a loss as to what to do. I am junior class adviser, I am in charge of prom, not homecoming. <sigh>  This always happens.  One of the deputies that I was working with looked at me and said, "You may not want to be in charge, but I think you are anyway."  Yes, yes I was. <sigh> I ended up pulling out 18 kids.  I tested every kids whose name was brought to me.  There were no favorites.  8 blew positive. It changed the whole mood of the dance.  We lost our star QB a week ago for something similar, now my kids were upset that two more of our boys were gone.  There were tears and pleads.  Phone calls were made.  Let me tell you, 11 o'clock came really fast after that!  May I just say that the off-duty sheriff deputies that acted as our security were WONDERFUL!  They came with me when I spoke to parents.  I am used to the "Not my baby" reaction and was a bit nervous since I had not come to the dance with the mindset of being and admin.

I found Sunday that I missed one.  And it was obvious, I should have thought to test the one I missed, a date should have popped into my head to check.  I am a bit disappointed that I did not think of it.  I know I think fast on my feet, but that was an obvious blunder.  A phone call was made home and at least she got home.

I did not sleep well Saturday night because all I could think about was who I missed.  It was dark, it was rainy.  What if that text came in that they HAD to check and when the looked up, there was that car, that pole, that tree?  What if?  Sunday morning, there was a news report of a teen involved in a high speed chase not far from us.  My heart stopped, my stomach sank and the what ifs came back.  Later in the morning, more details came out, it was a stolen car from another area.  But the "what ifs" still hovered.

Yesterday was an interesting day, full of private conversations in my classroom, tears, rumors and some guilt. Surprisingly, no backlash or blame.  I was fully prepared for that. I was fully prepared for anger, how could yous, you ruined my life.  Mind you, my kids are not back from their suspensions.  I would SO much rather have them be pissed off at me as opposed to helping plan for grief counseling and a memorial service at the school.   I am so okay with them being angry at me. There are now plans for a mock accident, they want to make it real.  Many of my kids have ties with the FD down here, I think we can get some cars donated, that already wrecked.  The kids are taking the lead.  They see a need and they are working to fill it.  How great is that.

Parents, please remind your teens not to drink and drive.  The weather and roads were horrible, I can only imagine what might have been.  Have the conversations, no matter how awkward.  It is our job as parents.
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