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. 

It was a mess of epic proportions, the stuff legends & movies are made of. I’d just sat down to ice my knees when a child flipped on the blender & I heard the unmistakable sound of a metal spoon in it. We have this crazy high powered blender so a spoon just gets eaten up, but it’s loud & horrid sounding. The child didn’t turn off the blender, so I dropped the ice & started running for the kitchen, & seconds before I skidded across the tea towel laying in the doorway the lid to the blender flew off & the large metal spoon, the one surely no one would miss sitting in the blender, came flying out. 
People ducked, someone shouted, “TURN IT OFF!” & the noise came to an abrupt halt. Everyone surfaced from the places they were hiding, under counters, behind chairs, I picked myself up off the floor & as the mess came into focus my mouth fell open. Then as my eyes roved the kitchen wall I saw the smoothie all over the window, the horrid blind I’ve been meaning to replace for a year now, the cupboards. All the cupboards. Not a single one missed out, including the ones on the opposite side of the room. And as I started to chuckle I slipped on smoothie on the floor & as I went crashing into a cupboard I looked up, who knows why! Perhaps I expected a miraculous hand to reach out & save me, what I saw was a ceiling covered in more smoothie. 
We spent an hour scrubbing & thought we’d gotten it all, but it was a few days later I noticed more smoothie.. on more cupboards. I had a pitiful headache a few days later & wanted to go back to bed. We are on term break after all, but messing up my normal sleep schedule can actually give me pretty intense headaches. I decided on the distraction method.
I went into the kitchen, sighed, grabbed some fancy pants DoTerra cleaner & a few rags to begin the task at hand. I mean, if I have to scrub up week old smoothie at least the kitchen will smell nice afterwards, right? Essential oils are one of the fewest smells in the world that don’t give me migraines. 
So there I sat, sprawled, in a most unladylike manner, across the floor. I was scrubbing the baseboard of the baking pan cupboard. I was dreaming of autumn weather, Tropical Storm Lawrence dissipating, & what on earth I might fix for dinner when the eldest wandered in.

“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.”

“Well, I wanted a shower, but I just realised I might have an underpants shortage.”
“That’s peculiar isn’t it?”
“Not really, I forgot to watch my laundry.”
“Oh, if you’re running a load would you wash Dad’s grey t-shirt. He was incredibly forlorn about it not being clean this morning.”
“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.”
“I guess.”

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.”

“Whatever you want to do. I have to move, my knee might be locked up now.”
“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..”
We’ve all been thinking about curriculum Our eldest’s final years in our homeschool can be counted on one hand. I don’t even need all those fingers to count them actually. It’s this mixture of excitement & pity. It’s kinda scary realising the one thing you’ve done for the past 11 and a half years is nearly at a close. Anyway, it’s the time of year when we’re looking ahead to what we’ll use next year.

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.” 

My son often weighs his actions against his interpretation of the Bible & when he’s unsure he comes to ask. This statement, therefore, didn’t really surprise me, but it did give me pause to think.

“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 skipped Betsy & 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..”

And so the conversation went, round & round about books we’d read & loved. Books we’d skipped due to some reason that made perfect sense to him now, but wouldn’t have when he was younger. To a questionable book that has been added into the curriculum, to a rather questionable one scheduled in this years curriculum. Which brought us full circle.

“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.

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