Day 3, 2012

Summer homework is fertile stuff which multiplies like bunnies. When I organized and filed it all in June, it looked so tame. Easy really. Now having re-examined it in the harsh light of August, it was a little daunting.

We hadn’t ignored the homework, I prefer to think that we had been pacing ourselves. I had heard every excuse in the book, including some of my own invention. So, I decided that today was going to be the day that we hopped to it and tackled these assignments. I needed the boys to take me at my word with no nonsense, we were running out of time.

I set about sharpening pencils and making piles for both Drew and Reed. Of course these make-shift work stations had to be a decent distance apart or there would be bickering about erasing too loud, oxygen hogging or some other made up complaint to procrastinate.

These children are descended from a long line of procrastinators so they come by the trait naturally. I have turned procrastination into an art-form so nothing they try will be new to me. Sensing my authority in this arena, both boys settled in and proceeded to amaze me. Drew finished his math packet and read 40 pages of his book and Reed had crossed the summer work finish line with ease.

I was so proud of them, I promised them both and Mac a lunch at a restaurant of their choosing. Yet, when it came time to choose, there was silence. I racked my brain for places that we had been meaning to get to and had nothing. Why is it that when you drive around and have no time, ideas for entertainment are everywhere but when you are finally ready to do something your mind goes blank?

Before we could go, the dog needed to be walked. I told Reed to take him and make it a long one. Normally, the boys take poor Murphy on a perfunctory trip around the block. Since it was raining for our morning walk, I had kept it short and felt he needed to stretch his legs a little.

Drew waited outside on the steps for Reed to return and I tried in vain to look past my bulging bag from the beach which I had yet to unpack. The clothes were not only hanging out of the bag, but were starting to pile up on the floor as I fished out an item or two that I needed. Finally feeling stronger, I vowed to unpack today.

I glanced at the clock and wondered where Reed was. It had been a good twenty minutes. Anxious for lunch, Drew took off on his scooter to look for Reed. He returned sweaty, nervous and without Reed. Drew paced around the kitchen like an expectant father muttering while I alternated between being worried and annoyed without showing any emotion at all to Drew.

The clock confirmed that it had been a half hour. As opposed to Drew, I stood perfectly still in a hopeless search for clarity. Deep in that well of mother’s intuition I knew Reed was fine. Murphy is a fierce watch dog. On the other hand, he had been gone a long time. Reed is usually pretty lazy in the dog walking department so this is unusual.

Drew left again for one more logical loop up to the middle school and back. Upon his return, with still no sign of his brother, his eyes begin to tear up and his face was red with emotion and exhaustion from riding around so frantically. I grabbed my phone and headed out on foot and make Drew promise to call me if Reed arrived home.

I was exactly one half of a block from the door, when Reed came sauntering down the street swinging a poop bag without a care in the world. I am not only relieved but massively curious as to where he and Murphy have been. It turns out Reed walked over two miles into the adjacent neighborhood, around a lake and back home.

Drew was relieved to have Reed home and to be heading out to the much delayed lunch. I gathered our things, got water for the poor, parched pooch and told Reed that we had been worried about him. “Why?” he asked, “I was just doing what you told me to and you said make it a long one.” How can you argue with a kid that takes you at your word?

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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos

WordPress.com

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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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