October 16th, 2007

Dear Karen,
Lets get some
To get a
little spookyer.

Last Monday my daughter brought home her regular weekly packet of homework. Half-way into the second month of the second grade, this packet is getting bigger, downright monstrous, and although she has four days to finish, it is enough to haunt my daily after-school agenda.

Have you done your homework?
Time to do your homework.
Sit down and do your homework.
Let’s do your homework.

Just three pages.

Just two pages.

Just one more page.

The homework isn’t massively hard. It’s avoiding homework that is monumental. After an hour or so of this banter, I snapped and shrieked, terrifying us both.


She froze, then completed 12 pages, the full week’s assignment, in 19 minutes of shivering silence. Afterwards, she took a sheet of blank paper and wrote a page in secret, folded it and placed it in an envelope snuck from my stationery drawer. She excused herself to go outside where I knew she placed the letter in the mailbox. I expected the mail that day would carry a letter of reproach for a certain mommy, and I apologized repeatedly. We made a banana cake together and shared a treat before supper.

When the mail came, I opened my surprise letter.

Spookyer? That’s what she wants? As if one screaming meemie in this house isn’t enough.

Offered in proof that our children have come to save us, to redeem and reform us, and to forgive us no matter what. May we parents hasten our homework.

Oh, and we put up the decorashons this weekend. Are they ever!


  1. Yes, our children do all that, and then some. I am humbled regularly.

    Comment by denise — October 16, 2007 @ 5:35 am

  2. How sweet! I love that she put a letter into the mailbox for you. How could you stand waiting until the next day to see it? I would have been rushing outside as soon as she went to bed.



    Karen Beth 🙂

    Comment by Karen Beth — October 16, 2007 @ 6:23 pm

  3. Karen Beth,
    I didn’t have to wait. Our mail comes late in the afternoon so this all happened in one day.

    This morning when she woke up insisting she should get a “Nintendo DS” something that I’ve never heard of and is in fact as bad as it sounds, I wasn’t able to be as charitable.

    Alas, life in the real world.

    Comment by Karen — October 16, 2007 @ 6:51 pm

  4. Too cute. Maybe we learn about the concept of revenge later than we think…

    Comment by Mika — October 16, 2007 @ 10:37 pm

  5. Just goes to show that your snapping snapped her out of her inevitable homework denial … which can leave any of us feeling yucky. I’m just sorry she has to have so much work.

    I hope you get her some Spookyer decorations. She’s an amazing little girl.

    Comment by Shawn — October 17, 2007 @ 2:09 am

  6. What a great post, Karen.

    I have a 7-year-old who is big on the notes, but he’s too lazy to walk them out to the mailbox so he just leaves them on my nightstand or, if he wants immediate response, hands them to me directly. In an age of email, voicemail, and text messaging, the spookyer kind of notes are so refreshing. 🙂

    Comment by Catherine — October 17, 2007 @ 2:53 am

  7. That is so cute! But, how did you manage to hold of the spooky decor so long? I’ve been living in a haunted house since mid-September!

    Comment by Mama Zen — October 17, 2007 @ 4:40 am

  8. We have an abundance of spooky decorations.
    Upon coming home from my retreat I was welcomed by literally every wall in our apartment “decorated” with stickers. Stickers I have since had to scrape and scrub and soak off, leaving paint chips. Very scary, spooky stuff indeed.

    I love Georgia Grace.

    Comment by bella — October 17, 2007 @ 8:01 pm

  9. Mama Z, it’s not hard to wait when you’re as mean as me.

    B: Even more to share and plenty to go around.

    Comment by Karen — October 17, 2007 @ 8:06 pm

  10. That’s lovely. Children are full of surprises — and often quicker to forgive us than we are to forgive ourselves.

    Comment by Mary P Jones (MPJ) — October 18, 2007 @ 1:55 am

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