Saturday, April 25, 2009

On Thin Ice

This Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: preparation, tic-tac-toe, splurge, auction block, the bitter end, milk, papyrus, when the parade passes by, bill of lading, stone wall

Mini Challenge: polar bear, 20 seconds, get it together, spasmodic, antiquity

On Thin Ice

This week’s mini challenge:

A polar bear’s plea. Get it together. Please. In the blink of an eye, 20 seconds in earth’s deep time, a spasmodic twitch in the millennia of visible life, all of antiquity could be lost. And this beautiful teeming blue planet would become oh so lonely. Listen. As the ice groans .

Ice melting

Here’s my 10 word offering:

I would stand by her til the bitter end. But tonight, I could swear that time is drawing near.

First I heard of the Ancient Egyptian Magazine Project was when Bridget, a classmate, quietly stacked a pile of index cards one inch high onto the dinner table. My sloppy copy, she explained. Oh, is there a project coming due? Yeah, mom, don’t worry, I have it under control. Turns out it’s huge!!! They have to produce an edition of a monthly magazine with a clip art cover, table of contents, full page introduction, 4 plump articles with primary sources, an annotated bib and documented computer time. I reflexively splurge on an anthology of literature of ancient Egypt, set it in on Emma’s desk, hoping the papyrus will come alive. Each night I gently prod her and she casually delivers a sanguine progress report. I draw assurance from the steady tap tap tap of the keyboard streaming from her room.

I have a confession to make. I am an alarmist when it comes to my daughter. I am so afraid the parade will pass her by. So, on Wednesday, I eagerly offer my editing skills. She skillfully evades, claiming dominion over her work. We play tic tac toe behind closed doors. My X for her O. As Facebook robs her of her future, I become more desperate. I learn she is still contemplating an array of topics. Burial practices maybe? !!! My patience is wearing thin. The milk of maternal kindness is evaporating as the clock ticks.

Just how important is it that she complete this project? The bill of lading, I claim, is not in the points subtracted, as much as in what is missed. I am convinced that my daughter’s future is on the auction block. While she is at school, I search for the collection and some evidence of my daughter’s efforts. I rifle through Agatha Christie, the Twilight series, a tangle of leggings and toe shoes. But the book is nowhere to be found. How she managed to bury it I do not know. The tome weighs about 5 pounds. Perhaps she knows more about the ancient art of embalming than I give her credit for.

The climax: Mom, can I go to the movies with Layla? How far along are you on your project? We lock horns. Mom. Please stop trying to save me!

Let’s face it. I am the Queen of Sheba when it comes to last minute relays. I acknowledge this ingrained trait as I feverishly sprint towards Mr. Linky in preparation for this week’s wordzzle.

For those as hardheaded as we two, sometimes there’s nothing like the stone wall of a deadline to bring you to your senses.


Raven said...

Your mini was pure poetry.

The rest was human and funny and I know I'd be just like that if I had a daughter. I'm like that with friends.... In any case, wonderfully done.

Akelamalu said...

I love them both but the mini was my favourite! :)

Jeff B said...

Life spilled out in the form of a Wordzzle. How nicely done!

Anonymous said...

These were great. The mini was my favorite :)

Dianne said...

the mini is my favorite too, says so much and is such a genuine plea

bettygram said...

I find myself in that mother.

Christopher said...

The mini challenge was really a bittersweet read, quite beautiful, yet, so sad. The 10 word is so dead on that I can see it playing out in my mind. Your ability to poetically express everyday life amazes me.

Dr.John said...

The mini was very well done.
But I enjoyed the other more.

Natalie said...

LOL, I got the not-so-poetic version of the second story from Dad. I have to say your take on it was much funnier and creative. I could imagine every exchange. Didn't you think you were done learning things from middle school?

Stephen said...

I enjoyed your stories. The first story, highlighting the danger of extinction, was a bit sad. I hope polar bears continue to exist. I think the world is diminished when species pass away, and we should do what we can to prevent that.

On the second story, I'm afraid that I put off a few things while I was in school, too, so I can identify with the situation. It didn't always work out well for me, but maybe the daughter will have better luck.

Stephen from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

gabrielle said...

Raven - thanks. I am glad you enjoyed the mini. I can’t take credit for it. I feel as if it wrote itself. The story about my relationship with my daughter took a little longer. We can’t help but fret about those we love.

Akelamalu - thanks for visiting. I'm so glad you enjoyed the stories.

Jeff B - Yes it did. It's one of the less destructive ways of preserving my sanity. I'm glad you enjoyed.

Thom - thanks for visiting. so glad you enjoyed the mini.

Diane - I let the bears speak… figured you would hear them.

Bettygram - thanks. I’m glad the story spoke to you.

Christopher - you can be pretty poetic too. you know...

Dr John - Thanks. I can see the meaning of family is something that we share.

magnetbabe – Raw and unmitigated, life is sometimes hard to take. It’s in the translation that things become palatable and sometimes even joyful. JHS is a challenge. I’m terrified about what’s coming.

Stephen - thanks for your comments. I too am praying for the polar bears and for all endangered species.
As for the second story, these are sometimes hard lessons to learn. I hope that life is being gentle with you.

the walking man said...

ahhh but this is where we use the saying "poor planning on your part does not preclude an emergency on my part"...Children do learn to swin with the flow sooner rather than later.