Goodbye Gatekeepers, Sayonara Senior High

My youngest spawn has graduated high school. It is still sinking in that my worn, dusty nest will soon be devoid of baby birds. Once your baby turns eighteen, the world treats them differently, though that birthday, although a milestone, does not magically bring the maturity it implies.

Once your child is eighteen –

  • You can’t talk to the nurse about what shots he needs for college …because he is an adult
  • He can register to vote, and cast his ballot completely upon the premise that “he likes the candidate’s style” …because he is an adult
  • He can leave home, be a dancer at La Bare, or venture to Vegas and marry the first girl who agrees ….because he is an adult

Consider that two generations previous, my son could have been sent to war directly from high school commencement.

If you recall, I have blogged about how my offspring both consider sleep their drug of choice. Over the last year, I started teaching a yoga class at 5:30 am one day a week. I thought this would force my youngest son into independent waking. When I teach, I would not return home until after 7am – past his departure deadline needed to be butt-in-seat as first period started.

In business we refer to this as a sound theory that fails in practice.

During his senior year he actually did a much better job getting himself up for school. However, several times he slept through his 103 decibel alarm clock, and this presented a quandary.

After four tardy arrivals in a school year, the consequence is a four hour Saturday detention for each subsequent tardy. In contrast, absences from a single class period are not a problem until you miss seventeen classes; however, the student requires a parental note each absence. I will confess, at this point in parenting, the easy way out, which for me is usually the road less taken, beckoned me.

The irony that Mr. Adult not only can’t get himself up, but then I am assuming the additional responsibility to write a note to the school does not fail me.  Embracing my inner optimist, I decided to view this as a golden opportunity to be obnoxiously funny. What you may not also realize, is that I have a panache for fiction. I will substitute where I referred to my man-child’s name with the pseudonym Mr. Adult to veil the not-so-innocent.

Below is the actual content of the notes I authored to the attendance office his final year in high school.

In October, as I came home to my still-sleeping child, I penned this little tomb:

Dear High School Gatekeepers,

Mr. Adult felt bad

Mr. Adult stayed home

Mr. Adult is back now

Go, Mr. Adult, Go

See Mr. Adult Go

See Mr. Adult graduate



Three weeks later in early November, I was prompted by my little Rip Van Winkle to execute this little work of prose:

Dear Gatekeepers,

Mr. Adult had a headache. Probably from oversleeping.

He is better!

It is a miracle!

Ok, miracle is a stretch.

It is a good thing*



*with all apologies to Martha Stewart for stealing her line

We did not escape November without a command performance by Sleeping Beauty. I stepped up my sarcasm game and popped off this little number:

Dear Gatekeepers,

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ready for a break? Mr. Adult is. He is late because he was not on time. Headache. Stomach ache. Life.



December was uneventful, but come January we had another morning of somnia-overload. When prompted into another sarcasm tsunami by sleepy-head, I grabbed a decorative notepad that was titled, “All things are possible if you believe“ under which I penned “I believe I’ll have a Margarita … too early?” then added:

Dear Gatekeepers,

Only 121 more calendar days until he graduates! The end is in sight. Early morning light?

Not so in sight today…

Mr. Adult had an upset stomach and is digging deep to find pioneer-worthy fortitude to make it into school, though late.

Peace Like Chicken Grease,


After eighteen years serving as this precious man-child’s auxiliary alarm clock, consider this post my official notice of resignation.

In late April I had to call the school attendance office, and when I said I was Mr. Adult’s mom, the school employee totally fangirled me.

She said, “Every day we kinda hope he sleeps late because we want to see what you are going to say next.” She is in good company. I never know what is going to come out my mouth, or pen, either.

5 thoughts on “Goodbye Gatekeepers, Sayonara Senior High

  1. My youngest (of five) graduated, too. I just blocked the schools phone number because they wouldn’t stop calling my phone and asking if I wanted to become a bus driver.

    JUST NO.

    Liked by 1 person

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