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Home > Blog: Work/Life > Tampons, Teenage Boys, and Work-Life Balance

Tampons, Teenage Boys, and Work-Life Balance

Work-life schmalance! I defy any parent to show me even one day when their work and personal lives are in balance. It's a constant, grueling tug-of-war. I submit, as evidence, my experience of yesterday…the day I almost ruined my son's life.

My son (we'll call him Tom) is 15 years old and a sophomore in high school. He's taking a course called TV and Video Production (or something like that). On Thursday night at about 8 pm, Tom tells me he needs to bring in a "mini-DBV tape" (or something like that) for the course the next day. I told him too eff'ing bad, I wasn't going out searching at 8 o'clock for something he wasn't even sure how to say or spell.

So he went to school Friday without the mini-DVB. Later that morning, he calls me at work to tell me the teacher wants all the parents of kids who forgot their mini-BVDs (or whatever) to email him, saying we would have our kids bring one in on Monday. So that kind of pissed me off, but whatever. I emailed the guy. And then the weekend came, and I forgot all about it until late (as in, stores-are-closed late) Sunday night.

The class wasn't until 10:45 Monday morning, so I told Tom I'd stop at the drug store on my way to work, and if they had one of these mystery items, I would get it and drop it off at school for him. So I did. I bought a mini-video cassette thingy that seemed like it might be right, and grabbed some other necessities while I was there. I drove back to the high school, wrote Tom's name on the brown bag, and dropped it off at the desk in the lobby.

Relieved that I'd done my motherly duty, I resumed my commute and stopped at Dunkin Donuts for my morning caffeine. As I stepped out of my car, I had the horrible realization that — along with the mini-video tape — I had just delivered a box of tampons in a brown paper bag to my 15-year-old son's school. My hand flew reflexively to my mouth and I gasped audibly (there may have been an element of evil laughter in there, too). At that same moment, a little person came out the door of Dunkin Donuts. I felt horrible because it probably looked like I was gasping at him! But what could I say... "I'm sorry sir, you are totally non-gasp-worthy; I was just gasping because I accidentally delivered tampons to my teenage son at school"?

Two minutes later, coffee in hand (first things first), I sped back to the high school, fully expecting a call at any moment, saying, "Mom, WTF is wrong with you?!?"

The happy ending is that I was able to get back to the desk in the school where I'd left the bag, make a quick switcheroo of the you-know-whats from Tom's bag into my Dunkin Donuts bag (which I'd brought in for that purpose—planning ahead, I was). I didn't even want to think what Tom's football teammates would have nicknamed him if he'd opened that bag in public.

When I got home from work, Tom was none the wiser (until I told him all about it, at which point he just rolled his eyes and shook his head at me.) But I'm proud that my quick action saved him from the trauma of thinking his mother's sense of humor is even more sick and twisted than he'd imagined.

So now I have an extra hour of work to make up, and (true to Murphy's Law), the mini-tape thing I bought was the wrong kind.

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