Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Nominate...Myself.

I know the Academy Awards are over...at least the ones in Hollywood...the gowns are picked up off the floor, the jewels returned and day two of recovery from the after parties is feeling pretty good. But up Nord, here in Minnesooota we have this thing called the Academy Awards of Literature (timed to...somewhat...match up with the Hollywood variety), after all it's a bit too cold to be frolicking around in strapless gowns and too slick for four inch heels...and I don't think JB Hudsons has many multi-million dollar diamond pieces lounging around in their stock room. 

The students spend many cold hours snuggled up reading and then make their nominations. My middle Wild One is quite the reader...and quite the schmoozer, negotiator, (ahem) manipulator so when he came to me with a book that I wasn't quite sure of I told him to check with the Big Guy. Now I know that the Big Guy had not read the book, but I was quite sure he had seen the movie...you see it was certainly an adult book-written by an adult, for adults, with an adult theme-not to be confused with a book suitable for a 9 year old. BUT, knowing how advanced a reader this child is and his fascination with action, mystery, suspense and thrill he was allowed to read this book (prior to the whole Academy thing)...based on the concept of the book, not the thorough investigation of such actual book (and the dialogue and passages contained within the covers) by either one of his superstar parents.

Along came the school event and the Wild One chose this book in the category of "Best Picture." The tri-fold poster was being transformed into a colorful tribute to the book and characters. The Wild One wrote explanations...careful to include passages and quotes from the book (the Big Guy was in charge of overseeing the initial writing...leaving the editing advise to me) and plastered them on the board inside of homemade books and a carefully created Hum V. He also made a black box detonator, a colorful drawing of a nuclear bomb and an airplane sculpted from legos...which was hung on a shelf under the title of the book.  

As he was assembling the last remnants of the project I took a peek over his shoulder. I got a little wave of vertigo as I realized what I was looking at. A poster depicting a book based on stolen nuclear bombs and the competition between the bad guy trying to sell them before getting caught and the good guy recovering them before they were detonated. If that was not bad enough, I read one of the passages the Big Guy had OK'd...something about the bullets whizzing past and lodging in someone's skull (are you beginning to understand the vertigo?). Yes, I knew the concept of the book. No, I didn't stop to think of the impact of bringing this poster to school to hang for all (5-11 year olds) to see. No, I never looked at the passages in the book, but I discussed the book with the Wild One each day as he read it to answer any questions and talk about the concepts in the book. What I didn't do was open the book and look at the language used (holy sh#*!) or think clearly about the appropriateness of this book for a school project. The Wild One wasn't fazed by the book, "What? I hear that stuff all the time." The books he loves are filled with suspense and battles...just usually fought by make believe animals...and written with an intended audience of children.

I made the Wild One rewrite the passages to include character development, moments of suspense and vivid imagery...without guns, blood or naughty language (that went over well for someone who had spent hours creating his master piece).  So you see when I say, "I nominate myself," I am clearly referring to the "Mother of the Year" award.

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