Friends, this week has been, shall we say, extremely trying at times. For example, I bought 24 new pencils because pencils seem to be a complete crisis issue in our home almost every day. I sharpened five, sniffed the shavings and immediately wanted to pack a new notebook into a knapsack and skip off to school whistling a tune. However, since I am not in school and cannot whistle, I instead sharpened those yellow beauties for my J and his homework pursuits. I stood them proudly and anticipatorily in a mason jar near his homework spot. Those pencils were going to solve EVERYTHING. This afternoon, I set J up at our dining table with his math packet, and Oliver and I went to the basement to make Valentines so that our chatter wouldn't bother our studious third grader. Within minutes, Jack had broken all five points and attempted to suction the table-based pencil sharpener to the wall to resharpen the five scraggly ends. Naturally, the not-made-for-wall sharpener crashed to the floor, and the case which holds the shavings broke. Irreparably. We must now sharpen and dust-bust simultaneously. It's not optimal.
Deep breath, channel the zen. "No worries, J-bird. How's that math coming?"
Hyde met Tasmanian Devil and whirred about the basement in a frustrated frenzy carrying on about how there WAS NO PATTERN in the darn addends. I felt pretty certain that his teachers weren't trying to fake out the kids and really test their mettle with unsolvable addition trails. But then again, I am not a mathematician.
My zen, which was rapidly diminishing P.S., urged me to try math anew. "Dear J, come here," I implored. "Let's look together. Oh yes, I think I see." I deigned to explain my peon thinking which garnered approximately three skull-reshaping eye rolls, one thrown pencil and a dramatic sigh of frustration. I'll not bore you with the interim, but suffice it to say I actually was correct and J finally saw that light.
No, I did not do his homework for him. I simply offered different perspectives on looking at that effing addend trail. Meanwhile, Oliver attempted to "laminate" a Valentine using an extreme amount of Scotch tape. I'm sorry to the dear little girl who receives this Valentine. It looks like it's wearing a hazmat suit.
Lawd a'mercy, it was then Free Write time on the old torture rack known as homework. I truly think Jack would have opted for me pulling out his toe nails. Instead, my last vestige of Mom-ativity zen, also known as desperate improv, suggested we resurrect an old online tool in which you pull the jackpot lever to get story ideas. Random shit like "Write a letter...to an android...who picks its nose...and has a pet butterfly" pops up. It doesn't do much for me, but J-bird loves it. He went nuts on a suggested topic about 85 lever-pulls in: "Invite to your school...a robot...with laser beam eyes...and the power to glow."
Honest to jesus- best piece of writing I've seen out of that kid since a flash of genius during Haiku study in second grade. Oliver and I went nuts in our praise. I mean, it actually was a really interesting story.
We wait for these things, parents do. These little strokes of okay, suggestions that it's all coming together. In the bath tonight, J told me he might even want to be a writer when he grows up because "Robodoculis" (the robot with laser beam eyes who glows) "is incredible, and I now plan to write a 100-page book about him. Every page is a different story. Maybe not every page but a lot of stories." This sentiment, all waxing rhapsodic about writing, is NOT one I've heard from Jack before. I'm pretty certain it will have dried up by mid-Saturday.
But in the meantime, he felt great about himself and his work. He literally beamed with pride. And that was worth everything. Even the new pencil sharpener I now need to buy and the dramatic, snot-filled gnashing and carrying on, and the hazmat Valentine. I hit one out of the park today, and I'll take it.