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Category: Learning Curve

Well, Then

The other evening we were driving into town when we drove past a house that had been recently gutted in a fire–it was the first time I’d noticed it, so I blurted out my alarm before I thought better of it. Quinlan was really concerned. “What it a fire?” She asked this as we drove past the home, her eyes lingering on the burnt-out window frames, the blackened walls. “Or did somebody gun it?” David looked at me, eyes wide. Gun it?! he mouthed. What the–?? We told her it was a fire, feeling kind of helpless in the face of her shock. And then she asked me this: “What IS a fire, Mommy?” And then I stuttered a lot, because “fire” is one of those words you just sort of know, but in no way know how to explain when a five-year-old puts you on the spot and requests that you explain it, in detail, for her. “Well, Quinlan,” I said. I was fishing around in my brain for a definition and coming up blank, and Dave wasn’t much…

Just the Beginning

We can’t protect our kids from the world (or, in this case, being seven). You know this. I know this. I may want to be in denial about this, and yet. I got a call from the assistant principal of Saoirse’s school (the school that we love, so anything that follows is not a judgment or statement. This is just a story) a couple of weeks ago. As a mom, my heart raced until the principal said–immediately, bless her mama-principal heart–that there was no emergency. Then, as a former goody-goody who may have gone all 12 years of elementary and secondary schools without getting detention (I made up for it in college, don’t mind me), my heart kept racing, because: THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL WAS CALLING MY HOUSE. Former stick-to-the-rules goody-goodies don’t get calls from assistant principals. Not really our thing. It turns out that Saoirse and another girl, her good friend, were playing a game at recess, running quickly, and ran into another little boy hard enough that he fell into the bleachers of the gym and got a nasty cut. This…

To Be Brave (No Water Ice Required)

There was a fundraiser held at my daughters’ school last week. The kids were supposed to run around a track with their classmates, trying to get in as many laps as they could within a certain period of time, essentially “earning” the money that their sponsors had donated to the school in support of them. We parents stood beside the track yelling “Mush! Mush!” in their faces in order to get them to go faster. No, I’m just kidding at that last part. We didn’t heckle them. This was a school-sanctioned event, after all. No, we cheered like good parents, and distributed water ice as a reward (cotton candy flavor! Swedish fish flavor! Mango flavor, but who wants orange fruit when you can have COTTON CANDY!) and took their pictures and told them what a good job they did. Sheesh. Saoirse was so excited for race day–she loves to run, and this fundraiser is one of the big events the school kids get to do for fun each spring. For them, it’s basically 45 minutes of happy running followed by dessert (“Mom! The cotton candy…