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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Little Brown Houses & Green Dots

(It's Wednesday morning.  Pandora and Hope are making that last minute scramble to get everything together before leaving the house for school and work.  Hope is placing the books in her back pack when she suddenly stops and places her head in her hands.)

Pandora: What's wrong with you?

Hope: Oh... I just have a bad feeling that this is going to be a bad day.

Pandora: Why?

Hope: I don't know.  Just feels that way.

Pandora: You finished all your homework, didn't you?

Hope: Yes.

Pandora: Then, what's the problem?

Hope: (looking like she might throw up now) I don't know.

Pandora: You do too know.  There's something you're not telling me, so what is it?

Hope: (starts to cry) I forgot to color the map for our Geography project!

Pandora: What?  What map?  What Geography project?

Hope: (crying) We have a presentation today about the Middle Ages!  We had to show the Manor we were living on and the surrounding area and I was in charge of the map and I forgot to color it!  Simon has been texting me all morning about it!  He's so mad at me right now!

Pandora:  It's a group project and you forgot about it?!  How did you forget that?!

Hope: (crying) I don't know how I forgot!  I left the stupid drawing in the car!

Pandora: Well, Honey Girl!  Why didn't you tell me about it?  I would've gone out to the car and pulled it out for you!

Hope: (crying)  I don't know!  I just forgot, Mom!

Pandora: ...sigh... This whole forgetful thing you're going through is driving me up the wall!  You never used to forget anything.  I never had to hound you about anything.  Any more, if I don't remind you that your eyes are already in your head, you're going to walk around like a blind person because you forgot they were already in your head!  What are you going to do about this?  You have to get over this!  I can't follow you around all the time and make sure you remember to get your work done!  When you go to college, I'm not going to be around to say, "Do your homework before you watch TV," or, "Don't forget your science book!"  You're going to have to do this yourself!  You might want to start putting it into practice now, kiddo!

Hope: (still crying) I know, Mom...  but right now I have to worry about ruining this project for everyone and letting everyone down and listening to stupid Simon say mean things to me all day...

Pandora: (watches Hope for a minute, grabs her keys, and goes to the door)  Pull yourself together, we have to go.

Hope: (wipes her tears and grabs her back pack)  What am I going to do, Mom?

Pandora: Well, let's think about this.  When is Geography?

Hope: After Economics.

Pandora: When is Economics?

Hope: After Science

Pandora: When is Science?

Hope: After Math

Pandora: Good grief!  I'm not asking what they're after, I'm asking when!  Time of day!  Like... is it the first class of the morning or do you have a break in there somewhere before Geography?

Hope: There's a break before Geography.

Pandora: Okay then!  So... can't you color the thing at your break?

Hope: Maybe...

Pandora: Maybe?! No, there is no maybe.  You're going to get those stupid color pencils and you're going to sit your butt down and you're going to get that map finished, and you're going to walk into that presentation with that thing done and you're going to look at that punk Simon and say, "What!"

Hope: (climbs into the passenger seat of the car and pulls up the rolled up drawing from the side of the seat and opens it up.  It's a beautiful map that she drew herself and the entire map is colored except for a section of tiny houses and a section of what looks like trees)

Pandora: um... this is the map?

Hope: Yep

Pandora: ...this is what you're freaking out about?!

Hope: Yep

Pandora: Honey Girl!  What is wrong with you?  The map looks awesome!  The only thing you have left are those stupid little houses and ... what are those small circles there?

Hope: Those are the trees.

Pandora:  Seriously?  All this drama over some stupid little brown houses and green dots?!  You got yourself and me all worked up over something that isn't even going to take you five minutes to finish?

Hope: (starts crying again) well... Simon said...

Pandora: I don't care what Simon said.  That kid is a punk.  I've been listening to stories about that kid all year, and now he's got you so worked up you're feeling defeated over some stupid little brown houses and greed dots.  Seriously...  (Pandora starts the car and they head to the school and Hope continues to cry)  Precious... you have got to stop crying now, this is ridiculous!  You made it sound like the entire map was waiting for you and... little brown houses and green dots!  That's ALL it is!  You can do that in your sleep!  You're a bad ass student, you know this!  Some stupid green dots and domineering words from a punk kid have you falling to pieces right now.  I can't have this!  You can't be freaking out like this over something this small.

Hope: (trying to wipe the tears that just won't stop coming) I just can't stop crying right now, and he's going to be mean to me, Mom, I just know it.

Pandora: (reaches out and takes Hope by the hand) Listen to me, you can cry here in the car with me because I'm your mom.  And you can cry in your room because that's your space.  But you DO NOT let this punk have the pleasure of watching you cry.  That boy DOES NOT get to see you cry because he's an arrogant little piggy that has the nerve to put you down and make you feel like a failure when you can dance intellectual circles around that idiot and he knows it.  And Hope... little brown houses and green dots... there's a hell of a lot worse things to be crying over in this life besides some stupid little brown houses and green dots.

Hope: (chuckles through the slowly drying tears)  You are right, it really isn't that much to get done.

Pandora: (pulls into the school parking lot, stops, turns to Hope) Wipe the rest of those tears from your eyes, go in there like the bad ass that you are, ignore that punk because he's probably going to give you more jabs between now and then, and at the first chance you get you color the rest of that thing.  And when Geography class comes, you hand that thing over to Simon and you give him the eye when you do it, the punk.  You understand me?

Hope: (smiles) Yes, Mom.  Do I look like I've been crying?

Pandora: Nope.  And between here and the class room I want you to think of nothing except that you're a bad ass and all you have there are some stupid little brown houses and green dots.  I want you to chant that in your head all the way to class -- little brown houses and green dots.

Hope: I love you, Mom.

Pandora: I love you too. (just as Hope starts to shut the car door) LITTLE BROWN HOUSES AND GREEN DOTS!  THAT'S ALL THIS IS!

(Hope shuts the car door and Pandora watches her walk down the hall to her class.  Later that morning, Pandora receives a text message from Hope:  "Just some stupid little brown houses and green dots... that's all it was, Mom."  That sentence alone was enough to make the entire day a triumph.)

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