These things are my fault. But this time, readers, this time I've gone too far.
I made my son read a book. *gasp*
He had two books that were required reading for the first week of seventh grade. (Holy cripes, folks. When did I get a 7th grader? I basically AM a seventh grader.)
Anyway, I dutifully ordered the two books for Ethan and he breezed through the first one without comment or issue. But the second one... I had to force him to sit down and read it. He told me several times, "Mom, I really don't like this book." I kept dismissing it, thinking, 'Yeah? Well I really didn't like Heart of Darkness or Moby Dick, but I had to slog through those pieces of garbage, and so do you, my boy. So do you.' I was a cheerleader. I said, "Sometimes books start slow. Give it 'til chapter four. Just give it a chance. I bet you'll love it."
My sister even read the dust jacket, and she commented that it sounded exciting. There was suspense! And drama! And my sweet sister, who incidentally is a Baptist preacher's wife, also signed off on this.
You bet, Emily. I'm dragging you down into this, too. You can be Auntie Em of the year. (You're welcome.)
About the twelve dozenth time I made Ethan sit down to read Down River, he commented, "I bet the teachers haven't even read this. There's all kinds of swear words in it."
My interest was piqued.
But I immediately defended the teachers, having once been a member of the maligned profession, myself. "Ethan, they have to read the books. It's part of their job. How will they know what to put on the exam?"
He replied, "Do you think this f-bomb is going to be on the test?"
There it was, folks, in all it's f-bomb-y glory. And a 5 letter B word that rhymes with witch, and someone telling telling them to do something to themselves that's just anatomically impossible. So, being the good mother I am, I took the book from his little middle school hands and told him that he didn't have to read it.
He wasn't so much indignant as he was relieved.
I spoke with his Language Arts teacher this afternoon at registration, and asked her about the blue language (Carrie said, as if the words had never made it past her own lips) in Down River.
She said, "Oh, no. Not 'Down River.' You want 'Downriver.' It's about teenagers on a river rafting trip." She smiled angelically at Ethan. "You'll love it."
It was a facepalm moment for me, for sure. I'm glad I didn't storm in, slinging snot about how she'd recommended an adult book for my baby to read.
Oh, no. That was me. (And Emily Kaye. Uh huh. That's right, Em.)
You know, I'm certainly doing my part to provide therapy fodder for when my boys are older. They'll have so much to blame me for.
And sadly, it'll most likely be justified.