The rocket ship lunchbox was really only the tip of the iceberg.
Last Tuesday was parent orientation night at the high school. The principal welcomed all of us freshman parents, and congratulated us on having done such a great job of raising the class of 2010. As soon as he said that, I nearly started to bawl, right there in the auditorium.
The entire time the chemical guidance counselor was speaking, about the occasional school-wide sweeps with drug sniffing dogs, and about how we, as parents, must model responsible behavior, all I could think about was how much I wanted to get home and consume uncharacteristically large amounts of vodka.
When it was over, I went to the grocery store (for limes and club soda to mix with my vodka) and I saw a man walking in the parking lot, holding the hand of a little girl. And I nearly started weeping again.
In the checkout line I ran into DemiGoddess the Elder’s Girl Scout troop leader, who had also just come from the parent orientation. She, unlike me, seemed to have been completely unscathed by the experience, and was surprised that I had found the whole thing so distressing. She reassured me that Ms. Elder is a terrific kid, and I have nothing to worry about with her. Which was comforting, but really, I already knew that.
Clearly, something is going on here that is deeper than your run-of-the mill parental angst, and it has very little to do with Demi the Elder herself. I’m not sure what my issue is exactly, but I do know it’s mine. And yeah, I’m taking it to someone who can help me name it.