Friday, September 30, 2011

Rant #591: So Long, For Now

For the first time in my life, I am going to be taking a fall vacation with my family.

It just worked out this year that we could take two vacations a few weeks apart from each other.

And this one is going to be a cruise, the first for my family and I.

There have been a couple of problems with this.

First, making sure that my wife and I could get off from our respective works to take this cruise at this time.

That went OK. Actually, I was surprised that my work agreed to this, being that I already took over in July and early August.

Second, the last full day of the cruise comes on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, when Jews are supposed to fast for a 24-hour period.

I have fasted on this day since I was 12 years old, and even did it for shorter stretches before that.

Call me a heathen, but I won't be fasting this year, or at least I won't be fasting on Yom Kippur. I just can't do that when we are on a cruise. I personally don't think God will excommunicate me from the religion if I don't fast on that day. I will do it on another day.

Third, and even more important, we are taking my son out of school for a week.

This was the big consternation with this whole thing. We didn't want to take our son out of school, but honestly, the we could not leave him home for this trip. He is a teenager, but a very young teenager. We don't need a "Home Alone" situation when we are away.

He has plenty of schoolwork to do--his teachers were notified about his impending absence--but the school does not take kindly to such a situation.

I received an email yesterday telling me that these absences will be un-excused, because they do not fit the criteria they use to define an excused absence. And the email came from the school's principal.

This put the whole trip on a bit of shaky ground. We are still going, but what exactly does an "unexcused absence" mean to the student? Again, he has plenty of work to bring along with him so he won't fall far behind the other kids. In fact, one teacher gave him work related to the trip and our time on the ship.

I will call the school a little later to find out, but there might not be anyone there, as our school district is still off for Rosh Hashanah.

Otherwise, what can I say? My wife and I are pretty upset, but what can we do? We can't cancel the trip or our son's ticket at this late date, but we have vowed never to take another vacation with him during the fall.

So on we go, to Florida, Jamaica and other points.

Please wish us well.

Right now, my wife and I have agita. We really do.

(Also, I will be back at this blog during the week of Oct. 10. See you then, and until then, feast your eyes on Annette and her friend. They look great even in black and white.)

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