by thea marie
Written for the Anecdotal Arms Contest and my daily writing exercise.
You try to keep your kids from growing up too fast. You shelter them as best you can from the tawdrier aspects of life. You keep them close, monitor their activities, send them to the best schools, expose them to culture, and on and on. But, after a time, you realize it isn’t all within your control.
My seven year old son, bouncing happily in the back seat, was regaling me with details of his very good day spent at the Bates Academy for the Gifted and Talented, a prestigious specialty school in our city. He told me that he performed so well that day, his teacher gave him a special pencil as a reward.
“She did?” I said, my question dripping a mother’s encouraging enthusiasm. “May I see it?”
“Sure.” He piped.
Digging around in his book bag for a moment, he pulled out a thick yellow pencil, made from rubber.
“It really, really writes.” He informed me. “I did my work with it today.”
Sitting forward between the two front seats, he demonstrated its flexibility. Vigorously, he bounced the pencil up and down, holding it pinched between his thumb and index fingers.
"Look," he grinned in innocent childish glee. "It needs Viagra!”
My story ends here, just as abruptly as my breathing did at that moment....
There was no need for further discussion. I left it alone. Evidently the boy had the product AND the concept down pat. What more could I have added, except fuel to the fire? At that point, there was no taking it away. He already had it.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, life just creeps its way on in anyway, and you're left dealing with it. Or not.