All I Really Need to Know…

May 18, 2016

At first, I’m like… what? I’m standing in the kitchen with my almost-adult offspring, cutting and glueing clip-art to sing-song poetry… just like when he was in… oh, maybe second grade. This morning I’m doing this. Not exaggerating… it’s totally back to elementary school: the scissors, the double-sided tape, the glue… they’re all there; he’s cutting, arranging, affixing art images to text. It’s a rush job, of course, because: Peter. So there’s a bit of panic in the air. Also just like it ever was.

This cutting and glueing and pasting is for a twelfth grade English assignment. Twelfth grade, I mutter to myself. What on earth? Most of these kids-in-adult-bodies are heading off to college, many are drinking and partying and experimenting awkwardly with the worst of adult behaviors. At the very least, all of them are trying on versions of their adult selves… maybe drinking coffee, maybe just going out for a drive, maybe wearing a tie to school and feeling grown up.

And yet.. here we are, standing at the large kitchen island, clip-art spread out before us… and I’m helping him by tearing off pieces of double-stick tape, while he adheres said clip-art to pages of his children’s book.

His teacher assigned the writing and illustrating of a children’s book. Which seemed so.. odd.  That’s not a very sophisticated project, I thinking. It wouldn’t seem an appropriate, age-related project for grown up, fancy pants seniors.

But then I started to think, no… it’s actually perfect. Just as they are preparing to leave their little feathered nests and fly off into the world, their English teacher is making them write a children’s book.  Maybe he wants them to reconnect with their innermost child selves, maybe he wants to remind them of the values their parents worked so hard to instill in them, maybe he wants to suggest that what they learned in kindergarten should still guide them today, as they prepare to leave home and make their way on their own.

Well played, Mr. Elliot, well played.

So, Peter, faithful to habits he’s honed since day one of homeworksville, was working until about 2:00am on his book’s final touches (probably its starting touches, too). Last thing he said to me before I went to bed around midnight was, “When you get up in the morning, can you print a file for me?” (All his print jobs funnel through my computer. And yes, I’m going to miss these days.)

And this morning, I did that.

The story…


A bit of its premise…


This, I guess, is a goop making tree…


Well, maybe you get the idea.

The story sing songs its way through a tale of goop making. It involves a mean man who wants the goop, we presume for some nefarious reason. Other things happen. And then it ends on a moral high note…


Sure the kids’ll love it.

As usual, please don’t mention to him that you saw this post or heard about his book. Thanks.


I don’t know, but senior year is a funny time.









2 Responses to “All I Really Need to Know…”

  1. aquasoul Says:

    After studying physics, he’ll probably end up being a writer of children’s books! Never know.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: