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Cooper’s blooper

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Alice Cooper could not possibly have had a 14-year-old in the house when he extolled the virtues of summer vacation in the song “School’s Out?. It•s the only song from the ancient era of rock-and-roll to which my kid knows any of the words. Every year, without fail, he belts it out at the top of his lungs, accompanied by his mother. “Schoooool’s out for sum-mah! Schoooool’s out for-evah!? It•s enough to send chills up and down your spine for so many reasons. Alex graduated from middle school on Wednesday. I snuck in to watch the all-school assembly in the gym that morning. (Snuck in because ohmigod, how dreadful for your mother to actually show her face in public at the same event.) I got there in time to hear my son’s name called for the Rocky Mountain Talent Search honor roll, and receive the President’s Award for Academic Excellence, along with a whole bunch of other kids. Pretty cool, and I was darn proud of him. My son is smart. Academically gifted and talented is the politically correct phrase I guess. And if he went the extra mile, he would be border-line-freaking-genius. Alex will be going to Palisade High School for the International Baccalaureate program where he will hopefully earn enough credits to skip a whole year of college. But we’ll give that a rest until August 21, the first day of the new school year. Eighty-six days from now. Yes, I counted. What does one do with a 14 year-old for that long while his mom is at work? I have a strict nobody-in-the-house-without-my-permission-while-I’m-not-home rule. My intent is to avoid a lot of trouble and possibly jail time some day. So, he’s too young to get a real job, too young to drive to it anyways, too old for most camps, and too hormonal to leave alone all day. To his credit he has a couple steady lawn mowing jobs lined up and he baby sits too. Thus far, he’s signed up for lacrosse camp in Denver for a week, and a week or two at dad’s. Would it be wrong the rest of the time to lock him in a closet with food and water? Okay, maybe so. But I’ve heard it’s been done. Truth be told, I would love to take Alex on vacation somewhere this summer. I offered up Caribbean cruises, trips to the beach in Mexico, a summer cottage in Cape Cod and even a week at a dude ranch. “With just you? Can I take a friend?? seems to be the only response. •Mom, nothing personal, but you don’t know what it’s like to go on vacation with just your mother.? He•s right. We piled two parents and six kids in a station wagon and drove across three states in July with no air conditioning. Poor kid is missing out on that adventure. So for now, we’ll swap sleepovers, burn through some serious cash at GJ Scores, take my chances at having him become a mall maggot, risk sunburn with long days at the pool, dust off the racket for tennis lessons and count down the days. Because in spite of what Alice says, school can’t really be out for-evah.

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