Working on a summer newsletter writing project with a middle schooler….
Me: “So what do you think you want to write about for your editorial piece? What’s an issue you are passionate about?”
Student: “I was going to write about about making the food in the school cafeteria better, because it’s pretty gross.”
Me: “Oh, great idea!”
Student: “But then I changed my mind, but I don’t know if you’ll let me write about it.”
Student: “I really want to write about what happened in Virginia, and how sad it makes me feel, and how I think we should all spread love and not hate. And how I think racism is wrong. And I know this might be weird but can I add an obituary section? I want people to remember the girl who died, Heather. I think she was a good person and people should remember her.”
Started with a new client today.
Me: “So, kiddo, anything you think I should know before we begin?”
Kid: “My mom has a boyfriend who she kisses on the mouth.”
Needless to say she’s my new favorite.
“No, but I did poop right before you got here.”
— Kid, when I asked if he did his homework.
(Part of the Ebola Mom series)
Aaaaaaaand she ruined it.
This is how Eric responds to people’s baby announcements.
Here’s part of a professional client email I sent this morning.
Kid is in 1st grade.
**Posted with permission from his mother, who reads the blog and thankfully still trusts me with her kid.
Eric: “What happened last night? You woke up SCREAMING in the middle of the night, it was crazy.”
Emily: “I know, sorry. I was having this really horrible nightmare.”
Eric: “What happened?”
Emily: “I was in a classroom trying to get everyone to be quiet and no one was listening, and no matter what I did, the kids kept misbehaving, and totally ignoring me like I didn’t even exist, so finally I mustered all my strength and just yelled as loud as I could.”
So basically my “really horrible nightmare” was my regular life every day for 9 years.
Kid (after her brother ran away from her): “He always does that when I try to give him a hug.”
Me: “My brothers used to do that too when I tried to hug them!” (False. Never tried to hug them).
Kid: “You have brothers? How old are they?”
Me: “Well, they’re younger than me, so…”
Me all year: “As a tutor, I am so damn tired of being treated as if I’m a nanny, dog-walker, or housekeeper– aka, ‘The Help.’ I have an advanced degree and academic expertise. I am not the help.”
Me at Christmas: “NO TIP!? But you tipped all the other help!”
Kid: “Who are you voting for?”
Me: “Oh, um. You know what, I’m not entirely sure I should say. I’m not sure what your parents’ views are, and I don’t know if they’d want me to share mine with you.”
Kid: “Oh, my parents HATE Donald Trump.”
Kid: “Yeah. And since those tapes of him came out on the news, now we can’t even say the p-word in my house anymore! He ruined the p-word!”
Me: “Oh! Um, I’m sorry– WHAT?”
Kid: “Yeah even my grandpa can’t say the p-word anymore! And that’s all he ever talks about!”
Me: “Woah woah woah. What do you mean that’s all he ever talks about?”
Kid: “Yeah he always comes over and wants to talk about it and they’re like ‘you can’t say the p-word in this house!'”
Me: <silent, horrified stare>
Kid: “But if I whisper the p-word you won’t tell my parents, right?”
Me: “You know, I don’t think that’s the best ide–”
Kid (whispering): “Politics.”
But you can see why I panicked.