It’s been brought up recently so I figured I’d talk about it. I was a pretty good kid, I didn’t drink, I didn’t do drugs (still never have) and I wasn’t out partying. If I wasn’t at home, I was at my friend Marshalls, at Lifeline shooting hoops, or at church. My mom didn’t have to worry about me, at least in that sense. I did do something that she tried to stop and couldn’t, something that could have gotten me kicked out of school (it almost did). I skipped school, a lot.
I hated school, I hated how I was treated (either negatively or ignored), I HATED school. But even more than my hatred for school, was my hatred for getting up in the morning. I liked to stay up late, and therefore was not ready to get up when the alarm went off. So when I hit Junior High, I started staying home, usually on Mondays. After staying up late on Friday and Saturday night (usually just sitting in my room, playing with my baseball cards), I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep at a decent hour on Sunday night so I wouldn’t fall asleep till 4ish. Instead of forcing myself up out of bed (like I did on Tuesday mornings) I just wouldn’t go.
I was the first person to leave in the morning but my bedroom was the only one in the basement. So I would get up, get ready and then, just before the bus would come by, I would yell to my mom that I was leaving, open and shut the front door and sneak back down to my room. Now, because my brother would come into my room at times when he was up and getting ready for school, I couldn’t just crawl into bed. So I would hide. Do you remember waterbeds? Do you remember when they would have a shelf for a headboard? Do you remember the little crawl space under that shelf?
Not my bed, but you get the idea. See the crawlspace under the shelf? I would grab a pillow and back myself into that crawlspace and fall asleep. Guess it was a good thing I didn’t snore. Eventually, I would wake up after my brother and mom would leave. I would go upstairs, crawl into my mom’s bed and fall back asleep. Why my mom’s bed? Because it had a phone next to it (this was before cellphones young’ens) and when the school would get around to doing attendance, they would attempt to call my mom at home. I would wake up to the phone, answer it, tell them in my surprised voice “Oh, she must have forgotten to call in, I’ll call her at work and have her give you a call.” Then I would go back to sleep. When I actually did go to school, I would be the first one home so in a few days, I’d get off the bus, grab the mail, and throw away the letter from the school to my mom to tell her that I wasn’t at school.
I got caught here and there, my mom would find out but by my final year of Junior High, I had it mastered. I bet I went to school on a Monday only two or tree times all year. That didn’t include the days later in the week that I didn’t go. I missed a crap load of school and they did nothing about it. The bad part was, I got bored sitting at home by myself all the time. So I started to talk my brother into it and we would both skip. We had a few skipping stories, like the time my aunt stopped by and we snuck up on the roof until the bus went by and pretended to just get home. But the most famous story we have when we skipped school was when we got a visitor to the door. We were sitting on the living room floor, playing Monopoly when the door bell rang. I snuck over to the door and looked out the peephole to see my Vice Principal standing there. There was no choice but to open it since he knew we were home. Apparently, the school got wise and called my mom at work and offered to go pick us up. So the VP and my guidance counselor took my brother to school (Elementary) then took me to Junior High.
The next year, I started High School and they kept track a lot better than Junior High did. Eventually it got to the point where they pulled my mom and me in the office and they told us if I missed another day that I would get expelled. So I didn’t miss another day, I would show up for the first 3 hours and then walk out and drive home. I was (and still am) stubborn so I kept doing it. While I didn’t really get into much more trouble for it anymore, I had to cut way back on how often I skipped.
One of the things I hate about the new rules of schools is that the parents can get into trouble if their kids aren’t in school. My mom did everything she could to get me to go everyday, but she was a single mother who had to work. She didn’t know I was under my bed, she would check my room to make sure I wasn’t there. There is no way she should have gone to jail because I was skipping school. I understand the law because there are parents who don’t care and let their kids skip school but that doesn’t mean all of them are bad parents.