A less scrupulous parent might encourage his daughter to drop out of high school before her senior year. Or a poor one.
I'm about to be the latter, because I'm not the former.
Our daughter is entering her senior year of high school, or as it's otherwise known to parents, The Shakedown.
The schools have us senior parents between a rock and a hard place, and don't think they don't know it.
My wife registered our daughter this morning for the school year, and being a senior is not only a very special year, it's also very expensive.
There are the senior photos, of course. Those were taken this summer and while the proofs are absolutely beautiful, the packages begin at over $500.
I graduated high school in 1981, and I remember making a very understated trip to the Olan Mills studio in Livonia in the summer of 1980 with my polyester, three-piece suit and a comb.
We snapped a few head shots and I was probably on my way back home within the hour, at most.
Today, the poses are multiple, there are more wardrobe changes than a Lady Gaga concert, and there are so many good proofs you have no idea how you're going to whittle them down. Hence the large and expensive packages for such undecided parents.
Then there's the yearbook and the hoodies and sweats and the senior dinner and the all-night party. We also have to pay for the cap and gown, don't you know. Cha-ching!
The all-night party, by the way, runs $80 a head. I have no idea what the kids get for $80 a head, but it ought to involve the aforementioned Lady Gaga concert! As in, Lady Gaga herself shows up and performs.
By contrast, the senior dinner is only $10 a person. I'd like to know what makes the all-night party eight times more expensive than the senior dinner. Come to think of it, I'd rather not know.
We've already purchased must-haves like the class ring and our daughter's varsity jacket. That was last year. Thank goodness those are out of the way.
Eventually there will be graduation announcements that need to be selected and paid for. My wife made the analogy that having a senior is like having a daughter who is someone's fiancee. Because the whole thing takes on a wedding planning-like aura.
I know it was 30 years ago, but I don't recall all this...stuff going on during senior year.
If our daughter reads this, I would remind her that daddy isn't really complaining. I'm proud and happy for you, sweetie. This truly is a special time.
Just as long as you don't mind eating Kraft Mac and Cheese three nights a week.