My sister and I used to sit on the driveway of our childhood home and smoke pot with the boys we were either dating or friends with or wanting to date. We would do this while our parents were home, which is kind of nuts, if you think about it. Yes, they were tired and their bedroom was on the other side of the house, but really, it's pretty ballsy to sit next to the kitchen window in a haze of pot smoke.
I thought about this while touring a fancy pants private school in Metairie with that same sister. We both have 4 year old boys and are looking at schools and deciding where to send them. As I ran the numbers (or shall I say, freaked out over the numbers) calculating the tuition per month, asked questions like, "What is the teacher to student ratio?" and "How much time does each child spend in each center?" and other other questions that made me seem like a rational parent, I kept thinking about the time my sister was driving me and 2 of our friends to Mt Carmel one Saturday for a drama club meeting.
She was driving our Mom's red Malibu station wagon and had cut off a bus right before taking a sharp turn into the horse shoe drive in front of the school. She had to have made that turn at 25 mph. Sr. Lawrence came running down the steps from the library wondering who had been in a car accident. Although I was used to her driving and unfazed by our near death experience, the girls in the car with us were pretty miffed and unamused. Oh well, fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.
And now I am acting like this pre-k school decision is akin to pressing the button that ignites the bomb that explodes a country. I am prepared (well, not prepared, but reluctantly able) to shell out almost as much money as I made my first year teaching high school to send my child to pre-k. PRE-KINDERGARTEN.
And still, when he is 16, he will probably smoke pot right under my nose and drive our car like it is a bumper car.
And so, just like the 81 year old private school, a fine tradition continues.