It all started last week, or maybe the week before that. You’d think I’d remember the exact date because it’s not every day kids blow up a blender full of smoothie in your kitchen. In fact it’s a first for us.
“Do you want any help?”
“I dunno, I mean I’d love help because who knew smoothie could go so far, but you don’t really have to stop what you’re doing to scrub smoothie.”
“That’s peculiar isn’t it?”
“Not really, I forgot to watch my laundry.”
“Forlorn? Really Mom, I doubt that.”
“He was! He looked everywhere for it, apparently he owns more than one grey shirt & I thought it was clean. He said wearing a Party Mad t-shirt to work was inappropriate.”
“He has a point.”
He ran off to start laundry, including the infamous shirt. I really wasn’t sure I’d see him again until I was done. But the youngest was sleeping, soundly. In the middle of the living room floor. He looked so peaceful we left him alone, but it also meant the eldest was feeling a little lopsided. Funny how that happens.
So he wandered back into the kitchen, “I guess I could help. I don’t really mind.”
“Maybe you should ice it some more.”
“I can’t, if I look at one more curriculum catalog my poor head might explode.”
“I’ve been thinking about that..”
I thought we had it all sorted out with the changes the youngest was making, the choices the older had made. Now we were just waiting on the date circled 6 times in bright neon yellow on the calendar to arrive so we could place our orders. Those words, “I’ve been thinking..” cause my knees to go weak, which isn’t saying much because my knees are weak enough that I have to constantly wear tape on them anyway.
“What have you been thinking?”
“Well, I’ve really loved all the books I’ve been reading for school.”
“You have read a lot, 42 or some such oddness at last count.”
“Yeah, anyway the one thing I really hate in a book is when there’s cursing. It just makes me so angry. I dunno, has the author forgotten how to use a thesaurus of something?”
It’s a hard world we live in when words that were once taboo & crass are now second nature. A few days prior to this conversation I’d been left alone in the lounge room of an evening, I flipped to a sitcom that was entirely new to me, which is pretty much everything on tv because we really only watch sport on our tv. I was shocked by the common place language on a network channel. My son has struggled with groups of teens who fall back on crass language often, but he takes to heart the words of the Psalmist who said, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock, my redeemer.”
“You know, we always skip a book or two with the programme because I find that there is always one or two that I find in appropriate for our home.”
Which in fairness is saying something, because I don’t police books. I find that my children are very good judges of character, but I do prefer to lead by example.
“We skippedBetsy & The Emperor because I felt the author made Napoleon out to act like a child predator. Not to mention Betsy was incredibly fool hardy. Which is kinda true about her. Did you know her family returned to England in disgrace for some of what happened with Napoleon & they were banished to Australia.”
“Yes. There’s a book in our library about it..”
“I dunno, you’re going to find that if you stick with the curriculum you are using you may find a progression of books that are like that.”
“No, don’t say that! They can’t all be like that.”
“They won’t be, but some will.”
We were quite a while, I was on the other side of the kitchen now, wondering if the red muck I was scrubbing up was strawberry jam, ketchup, or blood. I was leaning towards the jam but in this house anything is possible.
“So maybe I could do a mix. You could pick out the best books that I will love, & we’ll mix those with the other curriculum. I kinda like that idea, I really loved the look of that Bible study.”
“I could do that, I mean we haven’t ordered anything yet.”
“Nothing? wait, I thought you ordered my math book? I hope you ordered my math book, I really really need to get started on that.”
“Yes, I ordered the math book, I meant I hadn’t ordered anything else.”
“Mom, are you just laying on the floor or are you actually doing something?”
“I need water. You should go wake your brother up.”
It wasn’t until after he left the room I realised he’d never actually helped with any of the cupboards. Not that I mind, I enjoyed listening to his thought process.