Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,
Homework is hard when you’re 5 and when you’re 10. We sit down at the table after cleaning the dinner dishes off and go through your homework. Actually Mommy does that – and I provide a little help in passing. I’m not great at homework. Especially math, and it turns out – English (which I have a degree in).
Nightly it spirals out of control and 3 grumpy kids sit dejected on the steps or lay on their backs in the upstairs hallway grumbling – muttering – excuses and protests about how hard homework is….when you’re 5 and when you’re 10. After you’ve already spent the whole day in school – and playing till dark. Exhausted and all. Having already erased your pages until they have smudges and holes in them.
“What’s this word, Kate?” I ask. “Sound it out.”
“Buh Buh Ruh Ruh …” you say.
“Good! Keep going.”
“Oow. Oow. Wait. Buh Ruh Oow. Oow. W. W,” you say.
I laugh out loud and hold my head in my hands. You start to cry.
“Don’t cry. You’re doing really good! Buh Ruh Oow Wuh Nnh Nnh. Brown!”
You keep crying. And swat at me.
“Hey! I’m only laughing because you’re so cute. And that was funny. W. W. W. The word is Brown. You said….oh never mind. We’ll do the rest in the morning.”
Homework is hard when you’re a parent. And tired. And you’ve spent the whole day at work. And running in the lunch hour heat. And baseball’s on TV. When the sunrise alarm clock feels like it’s already creeping closer and closer. Teeth to brush. Jammies to put on. Myriad attempts at finding a kids DVD to watch that isn’t too scratched to still play.
“Brown. The word is brown”, I think to myself as my mind drifts between the ball game and half sleep. “And prepositional phrases. Really? Who cares? I mean, I have an English degree and even I don’t care.”
I listen to you 3 in your beds giggling – bothering each other – suddenly less tired with your half finished homework tucked safely away in your backpacks. The lights off, no chance of that homework coming back out. You tattle on each other for bothering and yell across the house to gain my attention.
Please go to sleep, I think as the play by play announcer tells stories of the old days during a game that’s no longer competitive.
Homework is hard for parents too.
I love you,
Sat: Biked 28 miles
Sun: Ran 6 miles
Mon: Biked 33 miles
Wed: Ran 6 miles