• Lydia Chu

A piece of cake

Updated: Nov 3, 2018

My husband and I, along with my two teenage daughters, got our Halloween decorations out over the weekend and decorated our house.

Halloween Day 2013

As I’m thinking about Halloween, I started thinking about the costume my younger daughter, Ally, wore when she was 11 years old. I remember her coming to me and asking me if I could help her make a Halloween costume. We had always bought them in previous years, so I was a bit surprised when she had asked me. She wanted to be a marshmallow. Well, I thought about it but just couldn’t figure out how to do it, so I came up with the idea that she be a piece of birthday cake. She agreed, and we got some supplies and built a piece of cake with candles and all. It wasn’t hard as I thought and was really fun to make. I thought it turned out very well and everybody who saw her thought so too. It was a big hit! It was the one and only costume that we had ever made, and it had turned out be the most unforgettable costume she had ever worn, and I’m so glad I have a picture of it.


So, I was reminiscing about that year and thinking about passing out candy after work when I got home. This is when I get a text from Ally. It was a late start day at her school, so she and her friend decided to go by Dutch Brothers before heading to school to take advantage of some drink special they were having. Well, it turns out that she was late to school. Unfortunately, her first period was English, and she had a quiz to take. Since she was late, she had missed taking her quiz and was not allowed to make it up. I could tell from her text that she was very upset and frustrated. Right away, as a parent, my heart went out to her and wanted to do everything I can to help and protect her. In her text, she explained why she was late, that her friend’s brother was supposed to wake her friend up but forgot to, how they ran into traffic on the way to school, and how unfair it was for her teacher to not let her make up for the test. She was asking me if I could write her an excuse note so she’ll be able to make it up later.

My first thought was to write that excuse note but then I got to thinking. What is the right thing to do here? I didn’t want to see my child get a bad grade or be sad and upset but at the same time, she needs to learn a lesson and learn from her mistakes. So, I thought to myself, what can I do and say to help her understand that she needs to be responsible for her own actions and must deal with the consequences. According to her text, she was putting the blame on everybody else but herself. What should I do? Should I write that excuse note to the teacher, so she can make up the quiz but then, that would be lying and what is Ally going to learn from this? What if I don’t write that note? Then, she will for sure get a zero on her quiz which will bring her grade down. That would upset her and that would break my heart.

I told her over the text to call me when she got out of school, so we can talk. As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m still thinking about what to do. I need to make her understand that this is nobody else’s fault but hers and that she needs to figure out a way to deal with it on her own. Yes, she wasn’t trying to be late, but she had made a mistake and she needs to own up to it. I need to tell her that I won’t be able to write that note because it would be lying to the teacher and that wouldn’t be right. In my heart, I wish I could just write that darn excuse note, but I know it’s not the right thing to do. So, hard as it is, I must stand back and let her grow up .. Boy, it’s not easy being a parent.



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