Decisions...I think I'm going to miss the OPM conference

So I got the time off work for the OPM conference and was setting up for my inlaws to get the kids to/from school and such just to discover today that my daughter’s 8th grade graduation is 1pm Saturday the 11th of June!

This was supposed to be an information gathering trip/anniversary get-away with my husband, and now we have to decide if we both stay home for the graduation, if we both go anyway, or if I come to the conference alone…

Our family isn’t really big on overemphasizing “single event” importance…the graduation marks a period in her life, but it was what she did during that period and the character she’s developed that makes it important. The birthdays definitely get celebrated, but it’s the day to day appreciation of our relationships with each other that are most important.

But that said, there are certain things that are worth celebrating fully. I just don’t know if this is one of those things for her. I’m afraid to ask my daughter what she thinks, because she will most likely adamantly tell me to go to the conference anyway and I don’t want to put her in the position where she pushes what she might want aside for me. I’m sure there will be things that I miss while I’m in med school and residency that I won’t have a choice about…this one I do.

This is a no brainer. There will be another conference next year, there will never be another 8th grade graduation for your daughter.

Have a good time.

I don’t remember “graduating” from 8th grade…just receiving a report card and a kick out of the door for the summer.

This is your decision but if the tiebreaker is family, then family wins. I’m sure your daughter will appreciate you choosing her over Sin City.

I would not have cared at all if my parents came to my eight grade graduation. We didnt have one though so who knows. Actually all of my later graduations (high school, college and graduate school) I only attended for the sake of my parents. I would have much prefered to have the diploma mailed and to head into my future without a look back. If you think it is something your daughter really cares about and will remember then go, if not enjoy your vacation, they may soon be few and far between.

I hadn’t changed out of my scrubs when I showed up late to my daughter’s 8th grade graduation (and I have the ugly photos as proof, LOL!!). But I know she was happy I was there even if it meant being late since I would have missed her getting an award!!

Ceremonies are important. Being new, I don’t know what stage you’re in on the path to med school, so I would say if you’re not applying this year enjoy your time with family while you can, and go to next year’s conference.

If you are applying this year, have your spouse talk to your daughter to find out how she feels - then she won’t feel pressured to give the answers she thinks you want to hear!

I have an 8th grade daughter and a 4 year old daughter…I agree with Gabe–I think it’s a no-brainer. Be there for your daughter. Whether she admits it or not, it’s important.

Like you said–there may be things in her high school career that you have to miss or be late for… be there when you can.

Which will you regret more? Reading the notes and powerpoints from Conference online and simply missing it live, or seeing your daughter’s graduation pictures without you in them? Go have fun at graduation…

For what it’s worth, did she like middle school? I despised every moment of 7th-8th grades, so to me, 8th grade graduation was nothing more than something that would delay getting the heck out of there and onto summer break by a few hours. I was actually really upset my parents made me go it, and that feeling hasn’t changed in the 15 intervening years.

Of course, she may have liked middle school far more than I did. But see if she wants to go, in a way that doesn’t specify that her answer has ramifications for your own plans.

We haven’t posed the question to her directly…and I don’t plan to. My daughter is really easy going, and I honestly think she’s just along for the ride in terms of the graduation, but we’ve decided we’re staying put for her graduation, and will plan something else locally to celebrate our anniversary. The conference will just have to wait till next year, after I take the MCAT.

We homeschooled her through 6th grade, and then put her in a private school for the last two years. She has enjoyed the school, and excelled, but is still somewhat of an outsider. That said, the school is small enough that the teachers really get to know the kids (and my 8th grader is easy to love!..just a little biased) and will have meaningful things to say at the graduation. I think it’s more important to go and make a clean break from this school before she heads to high school next year. I never found any of the school programs particularly engaging before my own high school graduation, but this is a good excuse to celebrate a delightful kid!

I’m a little disappointed (and really tired right now - please forgive the rambling) to miss the OPM conference this year, but it IS pretty easy to choose family over a conference…even this one! Thanks for all of the points of view!