Justice Was Served- Daddy Served Detention

I have always been one of those people who sneaks in at the last minute; the girl who sits down in her chair just before the bell rings, red faced and breathless.  As an adult, this is my fault. However, I learned this bad habit early. My father made me late for grade school almost every single day… and while it was his fault I was late, I was the one stuck serving the detentions.

I voiced (loudly) my opinion of the unfairness of it all, but it did no good.

After a few months of detention, I explained to my teachers that it was not my fault I was late. It was my father’s.  Once Miss Seratri finished rolling her eyes, she explained that she didn’t care whose ‘fault’ it was, I was late and therefore serving detention. Miss Serati was used to tall tales from her students, and she clearly thought that I was making excuses- not an unfair assumption.  Bottom line: I would be serving the detention; I was late for school.

Over dinner that evening, I tearfully informed my Dad that I would be serving HIS detention. Again.

He listened to me and apologized, saying the detention should be his- he was the tardy one, not me. He promised to rectify the situation.

The next morning when we got to school, instead of dropping my sister and me off as he usually did, my Dad parked.  We walked into my classroom together, and while I hung up my coat and backpack, he spoke with Miss Serati… and later that afternoon, I did not have to serve detention.

My father had explained to Miss Serati that it was not my fault I was late; it really was his fault. If someone needed to serve detention, it should be him. He said that he would be more than happy to do it- just have the school call his secretary to schedule it. (He said this without any sarcasm, he was very serious. Truly.)

After that day, I was still routinely late for school. However, I no longer had to serve detention.

History does have a way of repeating itself, but I am very hopeful that I can get my act together so that Emma arrives to school on time… because I am not serving detention.

Late Is An Inherited Gene

I am almost always late.

I am one of those girls. I should join a 12 Step program. Sadly, my tardiness affects my daughter as she is habitually late to school when I am in charge of drop off.

However, it is not my fault that I drop Emma off late for school, but rather it is my father’s.  I have a history of tardiness: when I was a senior in high school, I was fired from being a carpool driver because I made the freshmen in my car tardy for homeroom, and thus the recipients of detentions.

I would, however, arrive at school with enough time for me to make it to my homeroom. Sadly, the freshmen weren’t so lucky.  At Nerinx (my high school), the upperclassmen had lockers and homerooms close to the entrances. The freshman lockers and homerooms were far, far away in the basement; which was nicknamed The Dungeon.

My father routinely made me late for school when I was younger. I would be ready and waiting by the door- literally standing there, with my back pack on, ready to go. The wait would vary by the day- sometimes it was only two or three minutes, but others it may be twenty. My teachers gave everyone a five minute grace period (I went to Catholic school and everyone either walked or was dropped off by parents; we didn’t have buses) to account for traffic (or late parents). If a student arrived past the grace period, a warning was given. After the warning, detentions were handed out.

I got more than my fair share of detentions. At first, I grumbled about the unfairness of it all. Grumbling did no good; we were still late to school. My grumbles turned to shouts, but still we were late.

And I was still accruing detentions faster than I could say ‘Hail Marys’ at confession…