California Mission Accomplished

Momservation: The threat of multiple California mission reports and science fair projects is the best birth control.

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 Today is a day to rejoice.

It is right up there with the night my infant son started sleeping through the night the day before I had to go back to work again.

And the day we weaned my year-old daughter off the stinky soy formula and my toddler son off his sippie cup.

It is as joyful as the day I exchanged my diaper bag for a ridiculously expensive trendy, stylish purse because both my children were potty trained (although I still carried Bob the Builder and Dora the Explorer back-up underwear in it).

It is up there with my kids finally getting all their teeth, learning to barf in a toilet, and to say, “Mommy, my ear really hurts.”

Today feels almost as good as the day my checkbook gave a sigh of relief because both my kids were in public school and we no longer had to pay for day care and preschool.

Actually, this still might be better.

Today, this glorious day, my youngest child is turning in her California mission report effectively putting behind us this horrible chapter of elementary education.

The bane of California parents: The 4th grade mission report/project


Now that this is finally over, I swear I will never set foot in another CA mission again. At least not for educational purposes.

Two years in a row I sat with each of my children at the kitchen table, guiding them through their first major report. Helping reconstruct the facts of, essentially, Native American slavery as a notable time in our state’s history was just as torturous as an adult as it was when I was a 4th grader. Minus the musty smell of outdated library books.

I had flashbacks of being stuck at my grandma’s kitchen table while everyone else was out playing, trying to finish my mission report due at the end of spring break. I had to write it in cursive and in ink which meant lots of mess ups and lots of rewrites. I cursed Junipero Sera’s name and my misfortune of being born and raised in California.

But today – today all that is behind us. The nagging to get it done. Daddy harping that he didn’t want this thing done at the last minute. The whining of how hard it is and not knowing where to start or what to say or how to say it. The kids begging me to type it for them. Me yelling at them that I already did 4th grade and I long ago finished MY mission report. And BTW, I didn’t have a computer with spell check and cut and paste and snazzy fonts or the internet!

And the extra credit model replica of the mission? If Mom, the writer, got stuck with nurturing the written portion of this 4th grade albatross of the CA curriculum, then Dad, the contractor, got to be the foreman for the physical portion of the torturous journey. If we were going down, we were all going down together.

But just like the sore nipples of breast feeding, the long nights of no sleep, the days when the kids wouldn’t nap – this too has passed, the 4th grade CA mission report.

And if you think I’m as giddy as Melissa Leo throwing F-bombs out at the Oscars, it’s going to be a regular Hiroshima here when the last science fair project has forever walked out my front door.

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