Monday, November 22, 2010

I bet Oedipus' mom didn't have this kind of trouble.

The gigantic middle schooler took a few days off of school recently to elk hunting with Big Dude. Generally, we only let him ditch school to snowboard or go to the orthodontist, so it was a pretty big treat. Now for you naysayers who think that I am somehow shirking my parental responsibilities by letting the child avoid education, I offer this argument... If he gets an elk, that is 100 trips to the grocery store for hamburger I do not have to make. So who cares if he can't spell?

Of course, they did not get an elk. But he did end up with a big pile of homework. So I let him ditch another day of school to catch up.

I'm kidding. Relax. It was only a half day.

So he's rushing through a bunch of homework and realizes that the class heard a few lectures he didn't hear and he's got a scads of questions to answer about things he's never heard of, and so he hollers for me to provide him with a laptop so that he can Wikipedia all the info he's behind on.

GMS:  MAWM! Can I Wikipedia Antigone? (which he pronounces Aunty-Gone.)

ME: Do you mean Antigone? As in Sophocles' Antigone? Oh my gosh, giant child, that is one of my favorite stories of all times! The three tragedies...seriously - I LOVED them!

GMS: I just have to answer some questions, can I please just Wikipedia it for the plot and characters?

ME: No no no no! It is a short story! We will read it now together and I will share my love of it with you! You will understand this classic and we will bond! Later, when I am an old woman, you will put an afghan on my lap and recount to me how great this day was and read it back to me.

GMS: Please mom, please oh please don't read it to me please...

ME: One minute! It is on my bookcase! I have such love for this book that I have kept it in my bookcase since 1983 when I first discovered how wonderful it was!

I ran upstairs and ran right to it, the familiar bright green cover beckoning to me. Only this time, dear Sophocles, I'm not just going to dust you as I have for the past nearly 30 my friend, you will be read once again by a young mind!

I flew into the kitchen, ready to share the past with the future. Ready to open the eyes and mind of my offspring. Ready to love the story again just as I had as an 11th grader lo those many years ago.

And then, I opened the cover and found this note from 1983 me.

Should you not be able to read teenage-girl handwriting, it says:

A note to future students who attempt to read this book. DON'T. The Cliff's Note sare only $2.95. And well worth it.  Just a little advice! Sincerely, Me.

And then I brought him the laptop and told him to only go to Wikipedia because if he went to Facebook, I'd totally figure it out.


  1. Your concern for the future torment of students forced to endure the agonies of Antigone is admirable. Foreshadowed, one could say. But I'm one of those nerds who loved this stuff. So much so that I just listed to the Illiad on audiobook. for fun.

  2. I must have been absent that day, because I don't remember any of that.

  3. The fact that you've saved a book that was apparently inferior to the cliff notes for oh, 30 years, says an awwwwwful lot about you, Margaret. We can't even find our kid's birth certificates.

  4. Where did you put that book? Back on in you bookcase? ...I bet you did.
    ~ Benny

  5. Loved this! Reminds me of the time I dug out some HS pictures to show teen daughter that in '88 I did indeed have "big hair" and every picture was surprisingly riddled with beer cans and boys with long hair...Not the impression I was trying to make.



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