Jack was invited to speak as the guest of honor at a fundraiser in Florida last weekend. I phoned his school and let them know we were traveling to Florida as we drove to the airport Friday morning. He was a great help as we travelled. He had the opportunity to be the main man for his mama, something his three older brothers generally push him aside and do. He also took advantage of the special circumstances to ask to drink soda at every opportunity. His cute smile can’t push that boundary too far.
At his grandparents house he enjoyed special time with them alone. He was even happily surprised to learn my Mom, Nana, and Papa Pete had arrived in Florida to enjoy four weeks of sunshine. We shared many get togethers with them over the weekend so Jack could fill up on grandparent attention.
This is a boy who loves to be in the spotlight. When we visited church they asked everyone to stand up and share where they were from and Jack insisted I stand up and tell the whole congregation who he was and why we were there. He giggled partly because he knows I don’t like to draw attention to myself so he had opportunity to make me uncomfortable. Stinker.
It was a weekend packed with people and fun for a very good cause. He did all of his make up work before he went to the airport. He’s a student who gets concerned when his grades get to a 93. He read two books from the series of Unfortunate Events and he practiced his public speaking skills with a microphone. After his success at the fundraiser, and when everyone learned about his inspiring story of how he has helped raise over three thousand dollars so children in Uganda can go to school his grandma said to him, “Jack some day you are going to be president of America!” He thought carefully about what she said, and replied, “Grandma, I don’t want to be president of America, I would like to be president of Uganda so I can change the laws and then the people there can have better lives.” The fact that he understands at age nine the reason people in Uganda have a hard life is because the government is not using the money they have for the people is ASTOUNDING.
Now that we are home and back into our routine, I was taken aback when I received a letter in the mail from the police department so they could inform me “my child’s failure to attend school constitutes a crime. His absences are a class C offense for which I could be fined up to $500. This letter is my first warning. If my child has additional unexcused absences a criminal charge can be filed and prosecuted by the DA’s office. I must schedule to speak with the principal at his school and have these absences amended or I will receive a final court warning.
When Jack read this note I think he was close to breaking out in hives. He is a little worrier, so it agitated him all night long. I was annoyed, but I figured I would just go explain to his principal what we were doing and promise not to do it again. But, when Craig came home, he was mad. He said, “I’d like to be in that meeting”. I thought no way am I bringing you. He still hasn’t recovered from the amount of property taxes we pay every year for our school system, and to get a form letter like that in the mail infuriates him. I’ll save the nice elementary principal from his frustration with our tax laws. I had to reassure Jack a dozen times that he’s not in trouble, he’s not going to jail, and neither am I. He won’t believe me until he sees it in writing.
The last thing he said to me before going to bed was, “it seems strange mom that I am in trouble for missing school because I went to Florida to help raise money so kids in another country can go to school.” It just makes you very special and I am sure no one in his school has ever been absent for that cause ever before.