Monday, September 05, 2011

The grass is always greener...

“I can’t wait to be a senior,” our oldest daughter said to me one afternoon. This was about four years ago, when she had just started high school.

Really, I said. What are you so excited about? Driving? Senior prom? Graduation day? Graduation gifts?

Nope. We get to go on Senior Lawn, she said.

Senior what?

Senior Lawn — it’s the grass at school that only the seniors get to walk on. When I’m a senior, our class will take over Senior Lawn, she said decidedly.

I had heard about senior parking lots and senior pictures, but a lawn just for seniors was news to me.

What happens on Senior Lawn?, I asked.

Nothing, she said, but it’s senior territory. No one else is allowed there.

About a week later, at back-to-school night, just as I was about to cross a completely unremarkable grassy area between one school building and another, my daughter yanked on my arm.

You can’t walk on there, she said. That’s Senior Lawn.

Oooh, at last, the infamous Senior Lawn. I looked down. There was no sign designating the turf. No red velvet rope to keep out the 9th-, 10th- and 11th-graders. It was just some green grass, patchy in spots, and some benches. Nothing overly senior-ish about it.

What’s the big deal?, I said. I’m a parent. I happen to be paying for your education, I reminded her. I can walk on Senior Lawn.

No mom, she hissed. Do not walk on Senior Lawn. She gave me one of those looks that us moms know. This was non-negotiable. I should stay off Senior Lawn.

I looked around. None of the other parents were walking on Senior Lawn either. Apparently, they had also gotten the same “Stay off Senior Lawn” lecture.

OK, OK, I said, raising up my hands in surrender. No problem. I’ll go around.

What happens if you walk on Senior Lawn?, I asked her later.

She gave me the “If you have to ask, you definitely don’t deserve to know” look.

I persisted. Really, I said. What if you put one toe on Senior Lawn? What if you were just walking along minding your own business, la dee dah, and you fell onto Senior Lawn by accident? What if the buildings were on fire and you had to evacuate and Senior Lawn was your only refuge from conflagration?

She ignored me.

Fast-forward four years, and our oldest has just started her senior year. She and her fellow 12th-graders have finally claimed their birthright — Senior Lawn.

It also happens that our middle daughter is a freshman at the same high school. She’s heard the legend of Senior Lawn. As the sister of a senior, she might have hoped for an invitation onto the grass, but that idea was quickly shot down.

Don’t even think about it, her big sister said.

I thought of our own lawn at home. Technically, it would be known as “Dad’s Lawn,” but maybe I needed to re-evaluate that whole concept. Think outside the box.

What if we marked off sections of our back yard? Each of the three girls could be allocated her own personal area. We could have Huffman Senior Lawn, Huffman Freshman Lawn and Huffman Sixth-Grade Lawn.

When the girls are fighting or someone needs a time-out, we could just send each to her own personal section of lawn.

No one else would be allowed to walk on the other person’s part of the lawn. Each girl would be responsible for taking care of her own section, providing a clever and economical solution to weekly mowing and poop scooping duties. I’m pretty sure Dad would be more than happy to sublease his lawn to the girls in exchange for some free lawn care.

I see that back-to-school night at the high school is coming up. This year, I just have one question for our oldest daughter.

Now that I’m a parent of a senior, do I get to go on Senior Lawn?

1 comment:

CM said...

Ha hahahahaa! I came back to re-read this piece. Hil-ar-ious. I like the questioning you did on the 'Senior Lawn' protocol. Reminded me of being in High School. Nice.