It’s OK: To Muff a School Event

For the last three months, every day on the way to school, the carseat has chirped, “Mooom? How yong until Haw-o-ween?”

And for the last three months, my answer has been met with a big sigh: “But dat is sooo yong!”

Not long enough for me, I would think but not dare say.

This year, the spookiest, the scariest, the most-anticipated — and the most parentally horrifying — event was the Great Pre-K Class Party.

On the Big Day, DH dropped He’en at school in costume. She could have flown her own broom, she was so excited.

I spent the morning tending to her sister — a baby with a head cold is such a sad thing — and got to the school at 10:40. Although the party had stared 10 minues earlier, I figured they would just be sitting down to the craft tables.

Boy, did I figure wrong. As I walked in, about 15 parents were just getting up from their seats. 

Yes, right, seats. 

The “story and song” from the teacher’s email apparently had meant a full-on Halloween Program . . . and I had just missed Every. Single. Minute.

A red-faced, tear-stained witch appeared at my knee with a deeply trembling lower lip: “Mooom! You are YATE. You missed the WHOLE SONG.”


And *&^^ too.

The last-minute run to the thrift store, the triumphant acquisition of the Just Right striped tights, the careful application of eyeliner makeup this morning, and even permission to bring a broom to school, all blown away. Gone. Vaporized in one great Mom Failure for which I will never ever ever be forgiven. Did I learn nothing from last year’s Hanukkah debacle?

He’en choked back sobs all through her party. I helped with crafts, awash in Momguilt and nearly in tears myself. I left as they were lining up for lunch.

Three hours later,  I picked up He’en.  After a few moments of driving:

“Mom? I had a sad day.” Sniff sniff.

“Oh, honey, I am so sorry.” GuiltguiltguiltguiltGUILT.

“Yah. Dake teased me.”


“Jake teased you? Oh, I am sorry to hear that.”

“Dake teased me, but ‘den I told him iff he could be nice den he could sit wiff’ us at yunch. So he was a yiddle nicer ‘den.”

“Well, good for you, that is good to hear, that he was nice.”

“So den’ I wasn’ sad anymore,” she concluded.

Hmmmm. I could not resist asking –

”And was that the bad thing that happened today?”


Craftily and carefully — “And your day was good after that? Um, nothing else bad happened?”

“Nope!” She swung her feet with cheerful emphasis and contentedly bit into a candy corn.

O.M.G. I’m off the hook. Who knew?

It’s OK: Today’s Takeaways

  • The stuff you think is destined for a therapist’s couch 30 years from now probably is not as bad as you think.
  • That said, they are likely to come up with something else that you hadn’t noticed at all.
  • But you can’t control that.
  • So walk on, Mama. Walk on, and go raid that candy.

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