What Kind of Excuse is That?

Please excuse Julie for missing school. She was ill.

This was the standard note my mother would write for me to take to school after I'd missed a day. It was in her neat, curvy handwriting on a half-sheet of paper that I would carry carefully to give to my teacher. (We did not carry backpacks. Papers sent home were entrusted to our teeny hands and often lost their way before arriving home.)

In my years as a parent of school kids, I've written my share of notes. When I first had to write one, I automatically copied my mom's style. But, then I realized, people don't really use the word, 'ill' much, so I updated it. To 'sick'. And, I always tried to make the absence sound reasonable, 'he had an appointment' or 'she didn't fell well'. I've started thinking, though, that maybe I should be more honest, make my notes longer and tell the whole story. It wouldn't change anything in the 'being excused' department, but it might be more entertaining for the secretaries.

  • Please excuse Sadie for missing school. She has an infection in her leg. We'll be taking her to the doctor later, but I didn't want her to go to school because I thought walking around might make the infection spread. That isn't a medical opinion (because my medical training comes from google), it just made me feel better. Also, there's puss involved, so home is best.
  • Please excuse Max. He came into my room and sprawled on my bed, all lethargic. I thought he might be faking, but he has ADHD and he has a hard time faking lethargy. So, I let him stay home. He was faking, but by the time I knew it, the bus was gone. Sorry.
  • Please excuse (insert teenagers name here) for missing school. He seems to have this ability to turn off an alarm in his sleep. And, sleep, you know is important to teenagers, not at night, but very much so in the morning. He missed the bus. 
  • Please excuse Noah for missing school. He woke up looking like a squirrel preparing for winter. He has an infection in his salivary glands. (Don't look up salivary glands on google. Ew.) 
  • Please excuse Sadie. She's a senior. She has good grades. She is incredibly responsible. When she looks at me with those eyes that had me captured right after her birth, I have a hard time saying no. She's taking a personal day. We're going to lunch. 


  1. I LOVE that last one! Any secretary (woman) would totally understand that reason. =)

  2. love these!! I call my kids in and sometimes I just want to tell them I kept them home because I wanted to...I'm there mom I can do that!

  3. I actually do send notes like this. I'm pretty sure the school thinks I'm nuts. Or funny. Maybe both. :]

  4. I once seriously considered writing "wardrobe malfunction" as Son-One's reason for being late in once in high school--he had forgotten to put his washed clothes in the dryer the night before and so had to wait for them to dry. I ended up sticking with the tried and true "he overslept." But I still kinda regret not using "wardrobe malfunction" while I had the chance. ;)


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