Friday, January 28, 2011

magnetic charm--and some depth

I have taught sizeable classes of 2nd graders, more than once, and I don't remember it being as challenging as parenting a single 2nd-grade boy. I have carefully avoided teaching a class of 6th graders, or any group of kids older than 11--once they grow underarm hair my sense of control erodes quickly--so I was not prepared for the joy of parenting a single 6th-grade girl.

We have on our fridge a set of children's
poetry magnets which usually say things like "did we eat green and blue monkey dog cheese?" (The set does not include punctuation, so the question mark there is my addition.) That 6th-grade girl, who lives daily in her sense that things are changing, that childhood fleets away, left the following on the fridge this week. Up high.

ask mom
by dmmg, age 11

will she shine

are books alive

is this good

where is my home

do flowers sing in water

are sundowns too fast

Yes, daughter, they are...and poems speak your soul.

And now, by way of contrast: the 2nd-grader, my little early bird, has just come downstairs. Apropos of nothing immediate, but apropos of our recent 1960's live-action Batman viewing (the campy series featuring Bruce Wayne and his youthful ward Dick Grayson), he asks,

"Who names their child after a penis?!"

The poetry roundup this week is with Elaine at
Wild Rose Reader...see you there, and don't forget to read my "extra" post this week featuring some really good news.


  1. i love how many of those unpunctuated questions can be answered by "yes." or at least i hear that answer in my mind when i read it. hmm, i have to think about that now, about the assumptions we make as readers about unanswered questions in our writing.

    when i was a 2nd grader we were not as sophisticated, but we totally appreciated the humor behind a football player named dick butkus (which we pronounced "butt kiss"). sadly, i think this sort of thinking is in a boy's genes.

    filmmaker's will tell you that sundowns are too fast as well. they call that particular light "the magic hour" and will spend an entire day setting up for a shot with that light that will last less than a minute.

  2. Love the poem and laughed out loud at your second grader's question. :) I'm now bemoaning the fact that magnets won't adhere to my fridge door.

  3. I love your kids! You know what's great about your daughter's poem - it's so free-feeling, in a random but pointed way. I don't know how to describe it. She didn't worry about rules, or about fancying anything up, she just wrote, and every line is like a little arrow. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. I'm not sure exactly why, but your daughter's poem brought tears springing to my eyes. I think the title. And the knowledge that sooner than I want, I will not be able to ask my mom any unfathomable or even any trivial questions. Tempus fugit.

    And then your boy comes in and I'm giggling with tears running down my face. Your boy boy boy boy BOY!

  5. This post made me smile every way a person can...thank you, Heidi! A.

  6. And even better, sixth grade is the perfect time to read A Wrinkle In Time....


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!