My son Mr. Cynic made his internet debut. He made this for a group AP History project. He wrote the songs, he acted, etc. The first song is a snippet of a prior project about, if I recall correctly, the Spanish Armada. The guys included it for a laugh from the class.
Can a mother be more proud of the musicality and creativity of her child? I don’t think so. I am soaring. Except that typo in some of the print stuff, but that must be one of the other kids.
It’s on youtube. Go ahead and share.
Below is the content of an email I sent to Captain Comic’s teacher during particularly dramatic homework avoidance:
Apparently he’s willing to go to great lengths to avoid doing his homework. Currently, there is a missing ransom note to pay a mystery person $1000, no more, no less, that he received on fri, but threw out and forgot about until it was time to do his chapter 6 WYAR.
Now he wants to call in the SWAT team or the National Guard, or I’m going to die tomorrow, because we don’t have even 20 bucks, let alone $1000.
Gee, I thought I’d be worth a bit more than that to him.
And that about sums up what it has been like to do homework with him of late. It included quite realistic and dramatic emotional expressions to go along with the concept that his mother was to be killed tomorrow. He agonized about my death. He wailed, he sobbed, he put on an excellent show.
I knew the theme of my prior post would not last long.
And then Captain Comic saw me pointing a camera through the window, and came after me with a “Why you! You’re going to pay for this!” a la forties gangster movies.
I’m telling you, there are worlds in this kid’s head. Worlds. One day, they will appear on film. I see a future James Cameron or Stephen Speilberg (the early years) in the works. Of course, he wants to move to Tokyo and work for Toho Studios, the king of all makers of giant monster movies.
I may be a little late on this, but I don’t think anytime is a bad time to celebrate my personal favorite book of all time. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
I read this book every summer from the summer I was eight years old, admittedly an early age for the material, but I was more caught up with the stories of Scout, Jem, Dill and Boo than I was with the courtroom. I read it every summer until I was twenty-four. I know, because I remember where I was that summer, reading it, the smells around me mingling with the smells in the book. I can smell that stifling chicken wire ham costume right now. and the Wrigley’s Double Mint gum in the tree, and Calpurnia’s breakfast. I have read it periodically since, and always in the summer. When I was a kid reading it, I saw Atticus as a distant yet caring father with a lot on his mind. The main thing I got from the book, was what Atticus taught them not just by his words but by his actions.
I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.
You do what is right, because it is the right thing to do.
You treat people with respect, no matter who they are, because respect is what you’ll get if you do. And mostly, because it is the right thing to do.
Just because you can shoot a gun better than anyone else in the county, doesn’t mean you go around showing off about it.
And you help those who can’t help themselves, because it is the right thing to do.
There’s plenty more. The book is full of wisdom, beauty, life in a microcosm shedding light on humanity as a whole. An excellent story on every level and there are many, and the writing is so good, straight and simple, I can cry from the opening line.
When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.
I know it, because I’ve read it so many times, but the whole of that tale is held in that sentence. You feel it when you read it even for the first time. You know immediately, something is up, and it’s big. You just may not know how big it is til you get to it, but it is big.
I think I got my lifetime sense of needing to right the wrongs in this world from reading this book so many times and from such a young age. I may not have really known what the courtroom stuff was about specifically, but I knew it was wrong to lie and accuse an innocent person of something that was clearly bad. I knew it was wrong for that mob of neighbors to come to Tom Robinson’s jail cell in the cover of night.
What I love more than anything about this book is Scout’s growth. Narrator Scout tells of her own growth through her childhood fallibility. She shows how hard it is and how simple it is to see wrong and make it right. How hard it is to be wrong and have to admit it. And how much easier the world comes to you once you accept how you’re wrong, and do what you can to change it.
I could go on. I can talk about the kid’s adventures, Boo’s real gentleness. I can talk about ‘a sin to kill a mockingbird’, the rabid dog, the relatives, the house burning down, the sitting with the sick old Mrs. Dubose for penance. I can talk about pies, pants caught on garden fence, and the collection tin at Calpurnia’s church. I can talk about Atticus’s perceptive defense of Tom, the nervous trapped cat sense of Mayella, the snobby relatives, Walter Cunningham, fights, squabbles, making up, and the big brother saving the life of his sister with the help of a ghost of a man everyone fears. I can talk about kids and trains, and a sense of belonging we all long for and think we can find in a simpler time that was never so simple after all.
But mostly I can go read again (and suggest you may want to, too) the most simple, complex, learning tale of a girl, her father, a small town, and the need for justice. Simple elegant justice, and how even when it seems so simple, so elegantly right, it can still go wrong, because we all, after all, are human, and still learning.
I am wishing ocean
the weather is there
and then it is not
the summer glimpsed
then the wind picks up
the ocean the ocean
the summer breeze
the ocean the ocean
calls to me
the rain threatens
the temperature drops
please summer come
and all this teasing stop
the ocean calls
and I must swim
the ocean calls
and leads me in
the swirling waters break
around my ankles
and come together again
rise to my knees, my waist,
I dip my hands in
take a deep breath
and plunge wholly in,
holy in the water
fresh salt on my lips
the scent of the tide
as I break surface for air
the ocean ebbs
the ocean flows
and with it
all of my woes.
she takes me in,
and out I rise again.
Creative Construction is a great site for mothers who are trying to juggle being an artist of any form with being a mother and the demands of working or SAHMing or wherever you are on that spectrum. It has been instrumental for me in getting started back to writing anything again after a huge dry spell period in which I had a myriad of other things going on. I realized that what I needed to do regardless of being in the midst of – you guessed it – Life, that what I needed more than anything was to write.
First I read and commented on others’ posts . Then I started posting some blogs periodically there, then I found my way back to a huge old project, which is now a completed first draft of a middle reader novel with a scientific hole in the middle. Then I started writing this blog, because I was drained re: the novel, but recognized I still very much needed to stay in the habit of writing. I seriously suggest that if you feel even the slightest notion to be creative in the midst of everything, to go there, to do it, to let go of the things in life that will be there anyway regardless of whether or not you take an hour for yourself, or even ten minutes, and do what you love.
I am now feeling like I could go back in and take a look at what is missing and try to at least hobble something together out of the void, with all my little research materials. And what I don’t know, I can fake well enough that I can send this out to agents, etc and if I get a contract out of it, I can ask for assistance from contacts they may have to clarify what I would like to have in better detail. I think I can do that now. It’s been a good couple of months since I closed the last chapter and sent it out to a couple of trusted readers. They’ve returned it well-marked, but also with kudos that I wrote a good story that really should see print, and not just because they are friends of mine, but because they are serious readers and know a good story when they see it.
So, as soon as C goes down for her nap, and I get that next batch of laundry in, and something resembling a meal in front of me, I will creak open the slightly rusty manuscript and give it a go.
What is your dream of what you want to be doing outside of your daily norm? If you still don’t know…hang out over at CC for a while. You will likely find it there.