The last few weeks of the school year are a grueling gauntlet — a narrow, clamorous chute of activity that swallows every last hour of a family’s free time. Evening performances. Weekend tournaments. Early-morning muffin-and-melon affairs in Appreciation of Someone or Other. The only way to get through it all is to keep your eyes focused straight ahead and be impervious to distractions.
It’s like Zumba class or (from what I’ve been told) the urinals in a public restroom: You’re supposed to just mind your own shakey-shake and pay no attention to the person next to you.
And yet you have a friend — we all do — who is going to break this sensible, unspoken rule and invite you to her child’s concert/meet/ recital/play-off even as you’re scrambling for something clean to wear to your own kid’s ceremony/championship/potluck/musical. And when you don’t show up to her child’s event, because, let’s face it, you haven’t hit a grocery store in 19 days and your family is eating old trail mix for breakfast, she is going to judge you. She is going to raise her eyebrows, purse her lips unattractively, and be wounded by your conspicuous absence.