found poem – minecraft!

My 14-year-old son plays Minecraft online with one of his classmates, each in their own home. They wear headphones with mikes to talk to each other and I only hear one side of the conversation. Some of what I heard last night:

where are you Elliott
oh I think I know where you are
there’s a spider chasing you
don’t try to kill it
just run just run
what happened
I think we have to build another house
where are you Elliott
I don’t know where you are
are you on top of the mountain
oh there you are
ow ow wtf
what did I get hit by
oh a spider
help me Elliott
kill it kill it
you found the house
there it is
I died again
I fell from a high place
I have no weapons
I have no weapons
I’m going to die again
where are you Elliott
I need to find you
I have to run away
am I going the right way
I might die again
this way
that way
are you still there

‘mrs death’

I don’t remember thinking about death one way or another when I was a child, so I have been surprised and curious about my sons’ attitudes toward death. When my older son was about seven, he developed a complete obsession with death and was forever making me take him to cemeteries all over the place. He eventually grew out of it. My younger son, now 12, seems by contrast to have a nonchalant, matter of fact and almost buddy-ish approach to the idea of death. Still working this one out, but this little piece recently showed up in the process:

important and fun

my mom is important and fun because she lets me fry meat and boil pasta when we cook dinner on the weekends

my mom is important and fun because she plays x-box 360 and asks me to help her she plays lara croft and monsters vs aliens

— Whale Child for school Poetry Week.

Important and fun – that’s me!

dust jacket phobia

Whale Child is eight and refuses to read, or contemplate reading, any dust-jacketed book with its jacket on.

We are about to move house. Preparing for the packers, I find I am finding a steady stream of bookless jackets all over the place.

There is nothing so forlorn as as a bookless dust jacket, I am also finding.

I ask myself: Have I failed as a mother or this a Sign of the Times?


As a mom who has had enduring mom issues of her own, I’m very conscious of the constant potential for creating such issues with my sons. “You’ll probably sit in a support group in twenty years and tell everybody how I did X or Y when you were small, and that’s ok,” I say. “I’ve been an insane and crappy mom lots of times. I admit it freely, right now, on the record, ok? It’s not a big dark personality-eating secret. It’s a fact you can get mad about right now, if you want.”

“Sure, whatever, mom, but you’re standing on my computer cord. Do you mind?”

Love you anyway, my favorite boys.  Thanks for the bright bright red Mother’s Day fan and the Rooster Teeth shout-out with the super cool icons!