Imprisoned

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.

Because

L and I walked to school today. We were discussing games we would invent. I rambled on about my Greek Myth-based adventure wherein the player meets each of the gods and must answer riddles, solve problems, and, sure we can throw in a duel (not really), to move ahead. I ginned up some poorly disguised multiplication word problem and L said:

“WAIT. That’s a math game. You’re trying to sell me on this idea when it’s really about math?”

(Yup.)

“That’s not exactly action/adventure.”

(Nope.)

“Why do you want your game to be about math?”

M: Because.

“That’s a ridiculous answer. That makes no sense.”

M: ‘Because’ is a good answer. As in why did you climb the mountain? Because it was there.

“Again, a ridiculous answer. You climb the mountain because you WANT to climb the mountain. That’s the answer.”

And therein lies our existential crisis of the day.

Curse of the Hoodie

Preface: I’m biased. I think L is the bees’ knees. That his eyes are dreamy pools of love. That his lips look like a rose. That his nose is perfection. That he should SHOW THAT LOVELY MUG AND NOT HIDE INSIDE A HOODIE all day long.

Picked him up yesterday from school. It’s boiling hot, stifling, uncomfortable. Like me, L does not do heat well. In fact, we’re straight up heat averse. We fall apart when the mercury goes above 80 (70 for me, but who’s counting?).

L is wearing his hoodie. With hood up (must be down during the school day). He’s fussy and says, “I’m stressed.” I look at his heated cheeks and say, “if you take off your jacket, I’m pretty sure you’ll be much less stressed.”

L: “Mom, my hoodie is part of my identity. It’s who I am.”

M: (Here we go again.)

IMG_2413

Doubts

There are moments, okay, hours, if not weeks, when I wonder if L wasn’t switched at birth.

Case-in-point:

M: “Did you make your bed?”

L: “Yup.”

M: “Brush your teeth?”

L: “Yup.”

M: “Sing Rihanna’s new song really loudly without knowing any of the words?”

L: “Nope.”

That last one makes me wonder. Because the order in which I would do my chores would definitely start with singing. And, if I ever made my bed when I was a kid, it bore no resemblance to this tidy bit of work.

(Are the stripes of the blankets actually ALIGNING?!)

YourBed

You Just Can’t Undo Some Things

Insight:

I grew up in the Midwest. One of my parents was raised in the Deep South; the other grew up all over the place and escaped a fairly dark childhood because he is, well, he’s brilliant. College at 16. PhD at 20. Particle physicist/musician/poet/programmer/humorist. All of that probably came to be because he was so dang smart and because he absolutely, desperately needed to get away.

That said, brains aren’t equivalent to common sense. The first movie we saw in the theater was “Soylent Green.” (Yes, it’s people. For a small child, NOT GOOD.) The first movie I saw on television? “The Birds.” Yes, THOSE birds. Terrifying, squawking, ubiquitous, horrifying, not-melodious birds. To this day, a bird that’s too close is, dagnabbit, just plain scary to me. Lovely songbirds? Charming from a distance. Hummingbirds? Cute, but aren’t they a bit like killer bees?

This weekend, I set out to conquer that fear. What better place than a beach filled with seagulls and a loaf of stale bread? Seagulls are goofy, right? Pixar and Disney depict them that way. Sure, they can be a bit bossy. So can I.

Bread chunks in hand, I began my quest. Gulls are not shy. In fact they’re downright aggressive. (And, yes, of course I should know this, but we must remember the Midwestern roots.) The second they sensed “sucker with bread” they swarmed. I shrieked. They stepped back and squawked at me. With great trepidation, I held out my hand, with giant 72,000 foot long bread scrap (give or take), and they swarmed again.

Shriek.
Squawk.
Shriek.
Squawk.

I stopped my lunacy long enough to take a good look at the leader of the bird pack and what I saw looked downright human.

“Just pipe down and hand me the bread and we’ll all go on with our day.”

Did that. Lost my voice in the process. Gained a little less fear of birds. And a son who laughed so hard, he fell to the ground and said, “my mom is crazy.”

Laughter. As much and as often as possible.

birdsEDIT

Samson!

As a serious baseball fan, I’m prone to superstitions, as in wearing the same pair of socks to certain events, making sure my lucky bracelet is facing upward, and anything else that might help determine the future (or a World Series win). Yeah, one person’s OCD is another person’s baseball.

That said, I admit I’m a bit nervous that L’s hair has zapped him of his strength. Hearty and strong, he was felled…

RIGHT AFTER HIS HAIR WAS SHORN!

Not feeling well on Sunday.

Came home sick from school on Monday.

Stayed home on Tuesday.

His malady? No fever, no sniffles, no cough, yet lethargic and without appetite.

WAS HIS HAIR HIS STRENGTH?

Guess I’ll go procure some of that hair growing concoction and find out. (Kidding on that.)