Kid Graduating With Perfect Attendance Must Have a Supermom

Jeanne Sager

graduation'Tis that time of year when kids get ready to graduate from high school, and stories of freakishly healthy children come out of the woodwork. I'm talking kids like John Chandik, a high school senior from Palm Beach, Florida, who is graduating this month without having missed one single day of school since kindergarten.

EVER. I know what you're thinking. Great kid! Strong work ethic! Yeah, yeah. Chandik deserves a round of applause. But can we get to the real story here?

Christine Chandik, aka John's mom. This woman must be a saint. She chalks it up to simply raising her son the way she was raised:

If you can go to school, you should. Your job is to go to school and learn. I go to work. I don't just take off from work because I feel like it.

Amen mama. I was raised the same way. Which isn't to say my kid has never taken a day off. We wrecked her chances at perfect attendance way back in the fall when she had a fever. Following school rules to keep them out of school until their fever drops, I kept her home. Because she attends a germ factory kindergarten five days a week, the months since have included plenty of days off for health issues, including the absolute terror that is a 103.9 fever in a 5-year-old. And let's not forget the day I was so sick -- with a bug she brought home from school -- that she did not make it to school because I was simply too sick to drive.

Christine Chandik didn't have that luxury. She had to get her kid there even if she was down and out, because she didn't want to blow his record. And she did. Bravo mama.

What's mind-blowing to me with the Chandik case in particular is that my kid is pretty healthy, especially compared to my friends' kids. Prior to kindergarten she was rarely down with a bug, despite spending her first two years of life in part-time daycare, two more years in nursery school. We're handwashers. Healthy eaters. But "big school," with the hundreds of kids, the close proximity, etc., has just worn down her immune system. Absences have mounted. Nothing extreme, but we've pretty much sunk her chances of any kind of perfect attendance award ever.

So how do the Chandiks and other families do this? Are they sending their kids to school sick (and making OUR kids sick, ahem!!)? Or are these moms just superheroes, supermoms if you will?


Image via m00by/Flickr

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