I’ve committed an unpardonable parental sin – I’ve volunteered to chaperone my son’s high school dance. It’s not my usual thing, but the Freshman Spring Mixer Committee had been sending out a series of increasingly desperate emails, pleading for help. They were only asking for an hour or so; it would barely interfere with my Friday night. Figuring it was no big deal, I signed up for the early shift.
Big mistake, according to my son, who demanded in disgust, “Why are you doing this to me?”
“Nick,” I said, “They need parents to help or they can’t have the Mixer.”
“Well, it doesn’t have to be you. A thousand kids go to my school, Mom. Let someone else’s parents do it.”
“Come on, I promise that I won’t talk to you. You won’t even see me there.”
“I don’t want anyone I know to see you there.”
I’m not really offended by his loathing because I get it. The last person I would have wanted hanging out at my high school dances was my mother. But someone has to help out, right? The thought of a thousand unsupervised 14 and 15 year-olds getting their dance on is scarier than an outbreak of the Swine Flu.
I tried to get my friends to chaperone with me, but only Jenny replied to my email and her refusal was curt. “My kid would kill me!” Yeah, I can relate.
I’m committed now and it’s the right thing to do, but I want Nick to feel comfortable and have a good time. So for my shift on Friday, I’m going to dress nondescriptly, button my lip, avert my eyes, and pretend I don’t recognize a single kid there. And when it’s time to chaperone the next dance, it’s someone else’s turn!