L and I are listening to the radio.  “Same Love” cues up. I’m awed and amazed by this song. We’ve discussed being gay before. L asks again, “what does it mean to be gay?” I’m ready to launch into a long, sensitive tutorial on the subject. I’m interrupted at word three.
L: “Okay, so it’s like if two girls or two boys like each other. Like, LIKE each other. Love each other.”


“And then they get married.”


“So, basically everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and feelings. Got it.”

Love, Love, Love

L: “Mom, I love you.” (Long, plaintive stare. He’s practicing his come hither look.)


M: I’ll bet you say that to all the girls.

L: “No, that’s gross. I don’t say that to all of the girls. I’ve never said that to any other girl. Because if I said it to all the girls, I’d be sorta skeevy and everyone would think I was trying to get attention and I’m not. Besides if I said that to everyone, all the time, I don’t think it would mean as much. In fact, it might not mean anything if I said it to everyone.”


M: I love you, too.



Or, riding in the car with me.

After reading several reports on the state of education and feeling dismayed, I thought, I’ll go straight to the source: L.

(Okay, so I don’t think L really wants to talk about education at the end of a long school day. Then again, he’s buckled into the back seat. He’s all mine.)

M: How was school?

L: “It was good. Overall, a good day.”

M: Did anything stand out for you?

L: “I got to read with my kindergarten reading buddy. That was awesome.”

(I have a specific question in mind. I’m gonna cut to the chase.)

M: How do you know you’re doing well in school?

L: “Because I know the answers.”

M: (ACK) If you have to choose between knowing the answer, or how you got the answer, which one?

L: How. Definitely how. Because then I can figure out other stuff.

The state (of education) rests.

Change Is Hard

Dad is transitioning to a new job. That and a hard drive failure (#@$##@!!), equals plenty of change (and silence).

L to Dad: “Why are you leaving your company?”

D: Because someone else thinks I’ll be great.

[SIDEBAR: This work move does not entail a physical move for L. It means Dad will work closer to home. Better commute. Better benefits. Exponentially better life.]

L: But what about your old company? What will they do?

D: They’ll be fine.

L: Dad, sometimes work isn’t about the money or fame or power. It’s about love and family and friends. Please don’t turn your back on them.

D: (silence)

L: Dad, do you understand the implications of what you’re doing?

D: Yes, I do. And sometimes when your teacher or your friend or your boss doesn’t think you’re doing a great job, you need to find another situation.

L: I hope you’re making a good decision.

D: I think I’m making a great decision. And I’ll keep everything you said in mind.

Eight or 18?

Some ramblings from last night:

L: “I think L and I broke up. I think we’re better as friends.”

M: “You broke up? Broke up from what? What do you mean?”

L: “Well, she was crushing pretty hard on me and I really like her, but in the end, I think we’ll be friends.”

M: (Aghast.)

L: “So now, I’m thinking about C only I think she likes V and I’m not sure I’ll get anywhere with that.”

M: “Where is ‘anywhere?'”

L: “You know, when you like someone. LIKE like.”

M: “I think you and dad are going to have that talk sooner rather than later.”

L: “Oh, gross. Do we have to?”

Forwards and Backward

L: “Hey mom, what’s a paylindroh er…?”

M: A palindrome is a word, or a series of words, you know, a sequence, whose meaning is the same going either direction, forwards or backwards.

L: “Can you give me an example?”

M: Yeah, sure. I used to play around with them all the time. Right now, I’m sorta struggling to come up with anything. Oh wait, POOP. P-O-O-P, same word forwards and backwards.

L: (Pause.)      “Or maybe ‘lion oil?’

M: (Spoken in garbled, barely audible flat voice) Yeah, that works. So does poop.

Show off.