Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sticky Stuff

I have to put together a senior ad for Rose's yearbook by tomorrow. From what I have seen, these ads are often sentimentally and spiritually wise letters from parents to their children. One can imagine a parent (like me) hoping a child (like Rose) will return to it for guidance in later years, when her parent has long gone, and when she needs her mother or father most.

Unfortuately I don't do well under pressure--especially when I'm expected to be sentimental or wise about something. I was looking at her baby photos this afternoon, and I couldn't help but feeling the happiest about the ones in which she was covered in food--or half-naked and covered in food. Although my favorite photo of all time is one in which she and her sisters are covered in green crayon--mostly because of the look on Margaret's face.

I'm also having difficulty coming up with something like a "goodbye" letter. Why: 1) It's the middle of the school year 2) she's not gone nor has she figured out where she's going yet and 3) she is trying to extend the "no-nagging" policy from last week, while still taking less than 20 seconds to wipe off the stupid kitchen counters she was told to wipe, and leaving at least 3 square feet of sticky stuff and crumbs all over.

So I went cruising the blog to see if I've written anything particularly sentimental, and I ran across this seasonally appropriate post. I ran across a few more, but nothing makes me feel weepy yet, which is the most fertile soil for sentimental yearbook letters.

Friday, December 3, 2010


We're coming to the end days of Rose's homeschooling career. I just sent in her "Intent to Graduate" form to the appropriate authorities and we made a mad rush late Tuesday night to finish her early applications to her top three schools of choice.

I hesitated to help her Tuesday night, because the day before she used the "N" word, which is forbidden in my house. That N-word is "Nag." She said, "Mom, will you stop nagging me--PLEASE??!!" in that tone of voice which makes the person hearing it indict themselves, even though the person using it is totally worthy of being accused.

I had it perfected as a teenager.

So, with a flash of brilliance, I retorted, "OK. Your college applications and essays are due tomorrow and you are re-taking the SAT on Saturday. And that's all I'm saying about it." For a brief part of the day I thought I was going to die, and for that same part, I bet she thought she was in the lap of luxury, lounging around in her PJs, thumbing through magazines, taking three leisurly hours to complete one lesson of Government.

But as the hours ticked away on Tuesday and I hadn't said anything, she began to get quietly frantic (I could see it in her eyes). So I helped her where I could and we submitted everything around 11:58 PM, November 30--two minutes before the December 1 deadline.

As it turned out, my "brilliance" wasn't so brilliant after all. In those moments leading up to 11:58 PM, when I could have had a delightful time pointing out how much she had wasted time in the previous days and hours, I was instead chastening myself for wanting to nag when I had promised I would not. And so she ended up with me helping her finish something on which she had dawdled for weeks--with no nagging to boot. She could just be an evil genius.

But anyway I was reminded of a post I wrote in the early months of her freshman year, and the perils of trying to homeschool a high schooler and potty train at the same time. All I want to add is that I wish I had ended the post with this, "As long as she befriends the right people."