Last night I sat down to write what I refer to as "the dreaded parent letter". My son missed school last Friday and I knew I needed to send in an excuse note. Shouldn't be too hard, right? Wrong. As I sat down to write this small message on a piece of personalized stationary, the words failed me. This isn't the first time this has happened either. As a writer, it is somewhat of a hit to my ego when I can't even come up with two sentences about why my son was absent.
I don't know why it's so hard to formulate a letter that may or may not get read. I guess in my mind the powers that be are scrutinizing each letter with a magnifying glass looking for incorrect grammar and lies between the lines. As if they have a little black book with each parent's name where they check off as they receive a note:
And then in my mind, I think of those funny posts where people write a sentence incorrectly and it reads as something different entirely. You know what I'm talking about, right? Those found in church bulletins and letters from parents to the school. Here are some examples I found that had me cracking up:
"Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part."
"Maryann was absent December 11-16, because she had a fever, sore
throat, headache, and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever,
and sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I
wasn't the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something
going around, her father even got hot last night."
"Please excuse Roland from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip."
So you see what I'm saying? All it takes is one misspelled word, one wrong word choice, and you become the laughing stock of the school! Yikes!
In order to avoid these mistakes, maybe I need to organize a critique group to help other parents with these dreadful letters... or maybe I should never let my children miss a day from school again so I can avoid ever writing another letter. Not practical? Well then, I guess I'll have to continue to brave the crucible of the dreaded parent letter and pray for no mistakes.