In a landmark decision at Chez Bollinger, I (with some guidance from Scott) came to the conclusion that Max should handle the “Falcon Fest High School Schedule Pick-Up and Hand-In-All-Your-High-School-Forms Day” on his own. Our thinking was that since Max is already at the high school for yet another day-long Marching Band rehearsal (he and all the other Saratoga High School Band members have undergone a grueling four days of 9:00am to 9:00pm practices in the initial prep for marching in the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade) and since he’s a freshman now, he should begin to handle the world of paperwork and figuring out which line he’s supposed to be in, and then waiting in that line and handing in the correct form required of that line, on his own.
I wrote all the various checks for the Music Booster Club and the locker combination padlock, for the PTSO and the photo ID. I did all the computer work to “initialize” Max’s Top Secret Student ID Number and I printed out the crucial Contact Confirmation Form, as instructed, to prove that the emergency contact information for one “Maxwell Bollinger” was still correct in the Saratoga High School data base. I paper-clipped the appropriate check to the corresponding form. I put all the checks and forms in the red envelope provided by “Incoming Freshmen Headquarters.” I walked Max through the contents of the red envelope this morning as he sat munching on his breakfast of Honey Bunches of Oats.
I drove Max to the high school (only a few minutes away but we were running late, as usual) and saw (with some alarm) all the accompanying parents, already standing in many lines with their freshmen offspring. The crowd was growing in number by the second as more parent-student teams parked their cars and hustled over to join the throng outside the high school gymnasium. I couldn’t make a change of plans now as I needed to get back to the other kids and deal with their breakfasts and activities for the day. Besides, I still had my pajamas on and there was no way I would be disembarking from the relative “cover” of my vehicle.
“Good luck, Freshman!” I said as Max gathered his music and instrument for the marching band rehearsal and I checked one last time to see that he had the important red envelope tucked within his pile of belongings.
“Uhhh,” he grunted before slamming the car door shut.
The mother watched for a moment as the high school freshman walked toward the auditorium, alone, and then she turned her car out of the parking space in the busy lot and drove homeward to tend to her other children.