Monday, September 29, 2014

On Pride and Personal Prejudice

Zack is taking his plate into the kitchen where Nick is blustering about making some "butter sauce" for his second plate of penne.  I'd made a nice bolognese with fresh garlic, onions, carrots, basil, oregano and home-ground meat, but he likes a second plate of just pasta and butter sauce.

"Dude, what are you doing here!?" I hear Zack exclaim.  I'm thinking, he lives here, but soon I get it.  A friend of the boys from down the street is standing, grinning on the porch.

His name, curiously (and to the purpose of not implicating any other child around these parts) is Dude.  Which, for as often as they call each other Dude, might actually be his name.

"I rode my bike down, thought you guys might like to play," Dude answers, still grinning.  He's a good boy - polite, sweet, gentle - my kind of kid.

I get up from my, well, third plate of penne alla bolognese - it's really good - and watch as the three boys shake hands and pull each other into sweet, chest bumping hugs, grins all 'round.  My boys slip on their "muddy shoes" and they run out into the yard - a scream of boys.  Wooden swords are brandished.  Instantly it seems, there are four types of balls available and, uh, they play.

I walk in the kitchen as Marci is beginning to clean up.  She points to the abandoned bowl of ingredients that Nick had started and suggests it might be a nice idea for a post:

(Later, the following week.)

I am gonna tell you a little secret, I can't remember where I was going with this, I started it Friday and it is Monday and, well, that's all there is to that.  There seem to be some other images here next to the one above, grouped together in my WIP folder as "syns.1-9."  The image above is number nine and I think it was supposed to be used for a killer closing, which, I may have written first, as in the above is my closing, or, I have forgotten altogether.

Here are the other eight images in the order I'd planned for them:







Yes, well... I have no idea how this was supposed to work.

Imagine deep and impassioned writing on pride and, uh, prejudice of the personal variety - what does that title even mean? - because, I have nothing.

Nick, who has been working hard at spelling and vocabulary in general, came home with this study aid that he had made for his synonyms.  The first column is the word, then its synonym and finally a "skech" to help him remember the words.  He was remarkably proud of it, and, he should have been.

Zack brought home a project he did with some of his classmates.  There is a lot more to that story but, I in short he did most of the work as his group made suggestions, did research and colored the background.  He was pleased, his teacher was very pleased, and his table worked together.  He was proud of himself, and, he should have been.

Nick was very happy to show me his "pickle paper."  I read it in a cheesy announcer voice and he laughed and laughed because it was exactly as he had imagined.  I told him I was proud of him, and I was.

Nick, Zack and Dude decided to have a drawing contest after they'd conquered the backyard.  Nick made a "devil/pope drawing" and said there was a better one on the flip side where bold letters scream "LET ME WIN OR i'll Kill YOu" and a face down torso floats ominously.  He was proud of the joke he made, proud to make me laugh, and I did.

Dude's entry was a "dirigible warship" and it is fantastic.  I was so spellbound by work other than Nick and Zack's that I almost immediately declared him the winner, but I didn't.  He was proud of it and I told him I thought it was perfect.

Zack handed me his and simply said, "It's me."  A happy and proud boy made a picture of a happy and proud boy.  He beamed and so did I.

I called it a three-way tie.  A cop-out I realize.

Well, there must be some sort of point here, and I think it lies in that wallowing title up there.  We all can see pride in others, acknowledge and affirm it when we see it, show them themselves in it, but... well, it becomes more meaningful, more fulfilling, more empowering when you find that pride swelling up from inside you.

Yes, yes that is the point I wanted to make.  Or not.

Listen, I have to mow the lawn, and go do stuff and... sorry about all this, bit of a train wreck today, I'd say.  Thanks for coming around all the same.

From Marci's "... things you don't expect to hear from the backseat..."

Dammit, I can't find anything new for this either.

I know, I could close with a picture of Nick's abandoned bowl of garlic butter...

Nailed it...


  1. A couple of quick thoughts:

    I love reading/hearing that a neighborhood kid showed up at the house. I miss the unscheduled hang out time of my youth. Wish my kids had more of, "go knock on Johnny's door and see if he wants to play.

    2) I love the artwork. I think it is great that it is being immortalized like this.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Jack. It is important to understand that we are lucky because the kid is a really sweet Dude, if you will. I designed this whole piece so I could sneak in his "dirigible warship" which I think is the most wonderful thing ever. Also, I hope by immortalizing this stuff I don't step into the ranks of infamizing it.

  2. That's great that he drew the picture of you and you had the moment.
    I wanted to hear the rest of the first story. You built me up and then dropped me. Rough man.