My Dreams For The Boy Just Went Up In A Cloud Of Black Smoke

This will have to be brief, because I have to meet with my attorney tonight.

The boy, you see, crawled into our Suburban after school, loaded down with everything that a 6th grade boy feels is a necessary life-item that should be carted back and forth to school.

(The boy has A WHOLE LOT of necessary life-items.  We’re beginning to think that Hoarders Rehab may be in the near future.)

(Because let’s not pretend to think that all 6th grade boys pack between home and school is a notebook and a science textbook.  There are electronic devices and cell phones and Lego bricks that were taken to school for trading, but which didn’t make the cut at the lunchroom table — obviously, since they’re coming back home — and there are the Lego bricks that are NEW, because SCORED A GOOD TRADE!  And then there are Calvin and Hobbes books in abundance, because YES, LET’S READ THOSE, even though we have a test on Where The Red Fern Grows in Literature, and we haven’t even finished the 6th chapter there.  Items that are completely unrelated to school outweigh the books and pencils by a ratio of 12 pounds to 1.)

(And let’s not get me started on Where The Red Fern Grows, because that is a SOB FEST that you don’t even want to see me participate in.)

(I remember one day during my very first year of teaching PE at the little private school where I’ve been since A SWEET FOREVER, I had a bit of free time between classes, and the upper school English teacher asked me if I could PLEASE, PLEASE, PUH-LEASE take a group of readers out and read a portion of their book with them, and discuss.  No problem.  THAT is something that I could handle almost easier than running laps and jumping jacks in the gym.  But, when we all got situated in a circle of chairs, I realized that the book was Where The Red Fern Grows.  I said to myself, “Surely not.  SURELY NOT!  What are the odds that we will read THE DOG DYING PARTS TODAY?”   The odds were not in my favor.  Little Ann was going down, and I sobbed my grief out.  Oh, I tried not to, but Where The Red Fern Grows has been a mascara-ruiner for me my entire life.  I think I scared the poor kids, who went back into their classroom and said, “Um, the PE teacher is in the girl’s locker room, laying on the floor, crying over a fictional dog.”)

(Let’s never talk about it again.)

But I digress, which YES!  That seems to be normal protocol around here, and I do apologize for the stress it brings to your life.

Yesterday the boy jumped into the Suburban with all his worldly possessions and said, “Hey, Mom?  Do you know those old-time cameras, that were on giant tripods?  The ones where the photographers had to crawl underneath a black blanket?  And then, when they took the photograph, a huge puff of black smoke went up into the air?”

I told the boy that I did know what he was talking about.

And he said, “Well, I just got to thinking about those today.  I’ve seen them before in books and all.  Was it fun to have your picture taken with them?”

And THAT is why I have to go meet with my attorney now.  I’m writing the boy out of our will tonight.

Because honestly?  With this chest cold that I have?  Well, the will needs to be updated NOW, NOW, NOW, because I’m not leaving that kid anything.

Y’all have a great Wednesday night, and don’t be afraid to take your Vitamin C in ABUNDANCE, PEOPLE!  Abundance.

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