A month into school and we have already been convicted of a crime. There was no formal indictment or a trail before a jury of our peers. We were accused of losing a library book.  A librarian was in complete control of our lives.  We spent day and night looking for a book that was not at our house.  I may not remember important milestones in my child’s life.  I also forgot about my son’s first field trip in preschool, but I know my son brought his books back to school. Did she really forget her son’s field trip? Yes, I sent him to a farm on a cold, rainy autumn day in a light coat and sneakers. He was the only child without a parent accompanying him. In my defense, my husband is the one who dropped my 4-year-old off to school and failed to notice the class was getting ready for a field trip. It wasn’t unusual that all of the other parents had gathered in the classroom, holding brown bagged lunches? It did not seem odd that the rest of the children were dressed in warm coats, hats and boots?  When I went back to the school another teacher looked at me like I had been chugging Jack Daniels, “They won’t be back from the field trip for a few hours.”  My heart sank.  No, my heart fell out of my chest and dropped on the floor.

I drove 90 mph, crying like a redneck who missed the season premiere of  Duck Dynasty.  By the time I got to the farm the children were eating lunch.  My son looked like a homeless child, being fed scraps from other parents.  I was sobbing inside a barn.  So, I was not only a negligent mother, but looked  crazy.

I am not perfect, but I respect the Dewey Decimal System. I did not misplace a library book. I vividly recall my son placing both library books in his backpack. Unfortunately, there is no justice in the library system. It’s their word against yours. How do I know the librarian isn’t selling Superman books on the black market? Teachers are extremely underpaid. Can you wear tight pants and throw a ball? Great! You will be famous and earn millions of dollars. Can you spend hours nurturing my child teaching him important life skills like reading, counting, etc. while dodging germs and disciplining a student who carved F**k in the bathroom stall? Awesome, your paycheck will be on par with a Walmart cashier.

I wrote a check to pay for the book and get my son off library probation. He can continue borrowing books I have to force him to read and taking out movies that went straight to DVD. Perhaps, I will wind up eating crow when the book turns up in the minivan. Or, maybe, just maybe the librarian is meeting a guy with long fingernails, who attended Comic Con in the back alley behind the school.

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