Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Perfect Attendance

Well, Kyla's chorus group has finished up for the year. Seven months of Tuesday practices - on reprieve until next September.

So, we had the Awards Night. I admit I have been more excited than Kyla about the Awards Night. Because, you see, I knew she was lined up for a Perfect Attendance pin. Twice in the last month the directors checked her attendance records with me and I checked it off. Yes, she has been to every practice and every performance.

The irony in the whole thing is that I hate the concept of an award for perfect attendance. Perfect Attendance has little to do with commitment; it has a lot to do with luck. Can you squeak through seven months of flu season without picking up the bug? Can you resist the Rhino virus swarming on doorknobs and telephones everywhere? If Aunt Martha sneezes on you over Thanksgiving dinner, does that really reflect poorly on your level of commitment?

As homeschoolers, we have the good fortune of being able to plan a ski trip during the week when the slopes are empty. However, I planned ours not to interfere with chorus, because winning that darn pin loomed on the screen of my mind. As I considered how much more I was paying to include Friday, instead of Tuesday, it did momentarily occur to me that I was a gigantic horse's ass for shelling out all that dough so Kyla could possibly still win the ninety-seven cent pin.

So, there was the rushing around and getting to the Award Night and the clapping as children received their Certificates and Bars for participation. After each round, the director would say, "And have I missed anyone?" - No, no mistakes, everyone got their certificates and bars. And then, at the pinnacle of the evening, all that we've been waiting for, they read out each marvelous child who remained healthy all year. And I clapped for each one. Until the end of the list. They didn't call up MY CHILD! I stood up to gain the attention of the director, but she didn't do that, "And have I missed anyone?" thing again, she just started walking in the other direction! Idiotically, I strode across the room calling her name. By the time I had procured the eyes of every single parent, grandparent, aunt and uncle in the entire room, the director finally looked my way and I set her straight. To my hideous embarrassment, I called right out, "My daughter had perfect attendance!" The only slight relief came when another parent piped up, "Yeah, mine too!" So, after I paid the price by being a gigantic idiot bonehead in front of two hundred people, they gave Kyla her dime-sized "golden" pin.

I've decided. I will never again strive to have Kyla win that stupid pin. There could not be a more pointless award. I'm not sure why I lost sight of that.

I think next year I'll just order my own cheesy pin that says something like, "Outstanding", give it to Kyla and call it a day. And go skiing from Monday through Thursday when the slopes are empty and they practically give the lift tickets away.