Submitted by Andy McKennan
Sometimes as a working parent, you just have to roll with the punches … and try to see the humor in it all. When my oldest daughter was in the 3rd grade, her teacher planned a class bicycle excursion, and our daughter dutifully told us that a certain day was “Bring Your Bike to School Day”. This was before organizations used the Internet for communications, and cell phones with those handy calendar reminders were not yet a thing.
On what I thought was the day before "Bike Day", I was dropping my daughter off at school. As I recall, we were running slightly late, so we missed the throng of other cars disgorging school kids. But as my daughter was exiting the car, I saw the mother of one of my daughter’s classmates unloading her child’s bicycle from their car. With a growing felling of dread, I asked the mother, “Is today Bike Day? I thought it was tomorrow.” “Nope,” she said, shaking her head, “it’s today.” She seemed empathetic as she gave me a rueful smile, knowing I faced a considerable drive back home and then returning again to the school. Also, we both knew I’d be late for work.
But as a parent, you do what you have to do. I certainly wasn't going to let my daughter miss out on the class bike ride. So I told her not to worry and immediately headed off to get the bike and drop it back at her school well before the class excursion would begin. And so I did.
Even though things like this can be frustrating and annoying, I remember also feeling a certain amount of self-satisfaction -- “Dad’s stepping in here to save the day!” I retrieved the bike and got back to the school as quickly as I could, only to run into the teacher who said to me, “No, Bike Day is tomorrow.” Just like my daughter had told me.
This is one of those stories that seems hilarious now. Back then? Not so much.
-- Exact Change by Andy McKennan
Andy McKennan is a retired Marketing Specialist who holds a BA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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