# Math Problems

“Hey, Younger,” I chirped, when he joined my husband and me in the kitchen as I finished cleaning after dinner. “Have you seen the video with the squirrel outwitted by a slinky? You should google it.”

So, he did.

But instead of us all having a good laugh at the expense of the poor squirrel . . .

Younger claimed that the spring could pull the squirrel up with the stored energy in the spring after the squirrel stretched it. But my husband said he was wrong because the squirrel  was the force that was extending the spring.

Then they used letters in a way that seems blasphemous to me.

Something about force is “F = -kx” and where “F” is the force, “k” is the spring coefficient and “x” is the distance of the spring stretched.

The spring, therefore, could not launch the squirrel. Not enough force.

With a huff, I stole my phone back from Younger in the middle of their argument, announcing in a cross tone, “It was just a cute video until you all started with the math.”

Then I disappeared into my room for the night.

So if “x” is the distance my patience is stretched and “k” is my temperament coefficient, will I have enough “F” to launch Younger and my husband?

Because one of these days . . .

# The Golden Years

A new video game was released on Tuesday. The same day Younger had to return to school after a short spring break.

He started coughing last Friday. “I think I will be sick on Tuesday, Mom.” Hack, hack. “I can feel it.”

“You’re going to school on Tuesday, Younger.”

All weekend, he kept trying. “I can feel it, Mom. I’m pretty sure I’ll be sick on Tuesday.”

He went to school on Tuesday.

And Wednesday.

Because I am a good parent.

Today, as I was packing my lunch (I also returned to classes this week after spring break), I mumbled, “Not sure I feel great today.”

“Me, neither, Mom,” Younger immediately responded. “I think we should stay home today.”

Because Younger is a bad influence.

Maybe one of these days he will be the good parent.

And I can be the bad influence.

Ah, yes, the “Golden Years.”

Because feeding our children what they once dished to us is golden.

# The Not-Quite-So-Introvert

Younger is an introvert. Well, he is now. But when he was six-years-old, he was the not-quite-so-introvert . . .

To give the boys an extra half hour of sleep in the morning, I have been driving them to school.  Unfortunately, I lose a half hour of sleep and am usually shoving kids and backpacks into the car before leaving skid marks on our gravel drive.  Then I have to wait patiently behind a line of cars before I reach the curb in front of the upper elementary and tell Elder, “I love you, have a good day, I’ll see you tonight.  Elder, get outta the car, I gotta go.”  And then it is just me and Younger as we rush back onto the highway.

Now, the other day, as I slowed, grumbling, to a stop at a light, I heard Younger say, “Well, hello, people who hang up their clothes.”

Curious and a bit confused, I spun my head towards him, finding him waving at the three women in the car in the lane beside us, one of them leaning around a jacket hanging in the window.  Smiling, I turned back to watch the light.  And then I heard the whir of Younger’s window.  Alarmed, I spun back towards him, noticing that the woman in the car was also lowering her window.

“Hello,” she greeted Younger.

“Hi,” he responded.

“Good,” he replied.

Apparently, to Younger, there is nothing strange in holding a conversation with complete strangers at a red light in thirty-degree weather.  As soon as the light turned green, I hit the gas, leaving the people “who hang up their clothes” rocking in my wake.

“Younger,” I chided.  “You can’t talk to strangers on the highway.”

“Because they might take it as an invitation to follow us home.”

“They seemed nice,” he assured me.

“Yes, but some people wouldn’t be nice.”

“Oh, there’s three of us.  We can take ‘em.”

The “three of us” is me, Elder and Younger and I’m pretty puny.

And I think maybe I don’t wanna take ‘em.

# Big Picture

“Mom,” Younger said, tossing his backpack into the back seat of the car then sliding into the passenger seat beside me. “I think I need to work on my arrogance.”

I eyed him warily. “Why is that?”

He grinned. “Because I already developed the opening scene of the movie they will make about me.”

I don’t think it is his arrogance that needs work.

Modesty, on the other hand . . .