The Posterboard and Paul Revere

Two days ago, as I was pulling into the driveway with a couple of kids in tow, I received a text from my oldest son.

I need white posterboard.

I realize I just posted a tribute piece to him, the light of my life. The shiny red apple of my eye. My love. My first born.

I do love him dearly.

But I do not enjoy receiving texts like that one, because I know what it means. He doesn’t paint pictures on posterboard. He doesn’t use posterboard to create hobby dioramas. Needing posterboard could only mean one thing.

He had a project that was due.

I decided not to assume too much, though I was already at 5-alarm status.

For what, I asked back, feeling a bit stupid since I was now inside my garage and he was in the house.

A project, he answered.

It didn’t take taro cards to see that one coming. At this point, while I felt texting was safer for the both of us, I walked inside to finish the conversation. He looked up from his phone when he heard my steps.

“When’s it due?” I asked. Why do I ask stupid questions? I should harvest all those little 5-second periods of stupid-question-asking so that in the future, when another project is due immediately, I’ll have a stash of 5-second savings to cash in for the 2 hours I need right then. If only.

He raised his eyebrows and mustered an almost successful sheepish faces as he answered,

“Tomorrow?” as a question to me. Are you asking me if it’s tomorrow or are you asking me if I’m going to bodily harm you because it’s tomorrow? Again, there’s 5 more seconds.

Ah, Paul Revere. I mean, who knew I’d get to learn so much about him in one afternoon? I bet you think he rode around screaming, “The British are coming! The British are coming!” when actually he was riding around yelling, “The Regulars are on the move! The Regulars are on the move!” Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

If I were being fair, I’d admit that the project was mostly done when it got to the “needs posterboard” phase. But I don’t really have to be fair. Because it’s the end of May. I’m way over fairness.

He brought home his score yesterday. He got a 95.

“What’d you get docked for?” I asked. We expect 100s around here.

“We were supposed to include at least one book in our sources for the bibliography,” he answered.

I took a moment to soak that in.

“Huh,” I said. “Well.”  Still soaking. Probably shouldn’t have said the next part out loud. “I gotta tell you, skipping a trip to the library was worth way more than 5 points to me.  I’ll take it.”

June come quickly.

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