In this family Itchy is the de facto chicken wrangler. I’ve sent him to farm camps (at great expense I might add) to find that he spent the majority of his time chasing chickens while the other kids were using the zip lines, going on pony rides and careening about on tire swings. And we have chickens.
He likes chickens.
On the weekends he’ll stalk the Coop Du Jour and wait for a crowd of admirers to pause in front of the house and offer to catch Fleur or Radish for a quick petting session.
He also likes social studies. He opted to tough out another year of his school’s bilingual immersion program – something he isn’t particularly enjoying – despite the fact that his favorite subject, social studies, will be taught in Spanish. I am very proud of him as I wasn’t going to force him to do it again.
My guess is that he doesn’t enjoy Spanish because it’s hard for him. It’s hard for everyone. But I managed to impress on him that while it’s important to him that he gets good grades, as far as his future is concerned, the grades don’t matter. So why not power through the hard stuff now when the stakes are so low?
I don’t have to lean on my kids to get good grades. If anything, I have to tell them how much I don’t care about their grades, I only care that they are trying their hardest.
I remember the sickening feeling of dread that preceded report cards. I felt like I had to approach my mother on my hands and knees, preemptively groveling and apologizing for the one low grade I always got in math, enduring her disgust, her wrath, her assertions that I would never amount to anything. You had to be good at math to be an architect or a doctor, the only two acceptable career options.
Fuck, I hated those days. I remember feeling sick to my stomach, wondering how long I could put it off.
My kids drop off their report cards with hardly a second thought and I carefully modulate my comments, making sure that they see the reports as a measure of how they are doing in school, what’s working, what isn’t, how I can give them more support, and not as a measure of their worth.
I get that my mother’s Tiger Mom approach was cultural, it’s how they do it in Vietnam. The tragedy is that she had an American child.
Itchy also loves language. For instance, he told me that one of the chickens is a “tactical pooper” and he has to be careful not to wear his favorite Michigan sweatshirt while rounding them up because they always poop on it.
Yesterday he told me he wanted to bike up to Eben G. Fine park to see the new swimming hole the city put in. I suggested that March was a wee bit early to be swimming in the creek but he wouldn’t have it, so I went with it.
It was a beautiful day and we cruised around, stopped at a friend’s house for a glass of water, we checked out the library and talked while wandering around Boulder.
I wish I could remember his turn of phrase, the way he delighted me with some observation that sounded like it came straight out of a novelist’s mouth. I hope one day he will become a writer. Not because I think being a writer makes you special or worthy but because I really like what he has to say and the way he says it.
We talk about all kinds of stuff, hard stuff. You know, internet porn, sex, drugs, pedophiles in chatrooms, peer pressure, that kind of stuff. It isn’t hard to talk with him and I keep wondering when it will change, when it will become a struggle. I’m not naive enough to think I’ll get a pass, but wouldn’t it be nice?
Speaking of novelists, I finished reading The Summer Guest. Oh lord, what a beautiful book. Despite having a desk piled with papers and bills (I almost was late with a credit card payment AND an insurance payment, teehee) I poured a glass of wine and savored the last chapters.
Justin Cronin is a magnificent writer.
I realize that I have the luxury in reveling in his beautiful prose about death and loss and can see the beauty without the personal sting of remembrance. Not everyone is so fortunate, nor will I be as time passes, but wow.
Speaking of wine, I emptied out the last case of ruined bottles that Loony’s brother had squirreled away in the basement.
Loony has come to terms with the reality that all that wine is shit. It’s taken three years of it knocking around the dining room for him to let go of it, but I finally emptied the last bottles.
That’s a little more room in my house.
I came home one day to find this …
I left some bread on the counter and guess who decided to sniff around?
Stumped? Well, his face is about counter high and he is super slobbery.
I love that big dog and even if he does slobber everywhere, he’s still better than this guy …
A friend asked me to shave her cat since apparently I am the expert in shaving cats after MPT talked me into doing Greasy.
Of course I said yes after making the prerequisite comments about shaving her pussy, etc, etc, but I thought that maybe I should prepare a bit more with some internet research. I came across this horror of all infographics …
WTF?! Someone had to draw this! I don’t even know what’s happening in the second picture.
Well, I finished reading the book, I’ve written the post, the kids are about to come home from school, I guess I should get off my ass. But I’ll leave you with these two things that make me very grateful.
Someone left this note for me in my Little Free Library, and …
Beautiful food, that I have the time and resources to make. Life is but a dream.