Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned May 1, 2007

Homework adventures lately include the memorization of Robert Frost’s poem, Mowing.

For days we’ve been watching and listening as our 13-year old, baseball-crazy son paces around the house mumbling poetry under his breath.

Apparently, he’s been assigned to memorize the poem and recite it in front of his English class.

Last night before he went to bed I inquired about his progress. Hayden assured me all was well and, not because I doubt him or anything, I challenged him to recite the poem for his Dad and me.

I was shocked, I tell you, to hear those beautiful words come rolling out of the mouth of my baby, who now inhabits a large, almost-adult-sized body topped with very long, unruly hair (A hairstyle that is so not cool, but he and I don’t share that opinion, sadly. Choose your battles, choose your battles . . . !).

As he recited, Hayden had the rhythm and cadence of the poem down; I couldn’t believe it. Rather than sounding like rote memorization forcefully imposed on his poor, discriminated self (which is how I know he feels), the beauty and the power of the words just came right out as he said them.

I looked up at him in amazement as he finished. Grinning he said, “Didn’t think I could do it, did you?”

“No, I thought you could do it. I just wasn’t expecting such a polished performance. I tell you, child, keep that up and you’ll slay the girls.”

Looking at me with disgust he said, “For your information, Mom, girls don’t like poems anymore. That’s so old fashioned.”


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