The fine art of cursive
MOTHER OF THE MUNCHKINS
Bethany J. Royer
After an out-of-nowhere family emergency that required traveling from Ohio to Connecticut and systemically being emotionally, physically and financially throttled from Sunday evening into Tuesday …. well, let’s just say I could use a good laugh. So how about another interesting conversation with youngest munchkin, one Ms. Wee Emma? This one is good though I may be a tad bias which means this is potentially only entertaining to me. It’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Allow me to set the stage, it is Wednesday morning, freezing, and for the first time in my life thankful to be living in Ohio. (A long, long story) Emma and I are waiting on the school bus in the orange crusader when she informs me she has a test in art class. Now, mind you, after traversing via said vehicle over 1400 miles (total) with four hours of sleep tops over 48 hours-plus I felt like I had lost a week of my life, not to mention my mind. A situation where I had to leave the girls with my mother and my in-laws in order for Michael and I to make a journey that again, came out of nowhere.
Besides worry about the situation we were driving into, I had to worry about five other individuals being affected by this emergency, too. My mind was in so many different places (Kids, family, jobs, Michael, and the growing credit card bill) that it became mush, any conversation I had over those days and into Wednesday was in a shaky, teary, exhausted, and drained voice. Basically, I hadn’t a normal conversation in days, not until that moment with Emma, the first opportunity to really speak with one of my children and feel some semblance of normalcy.
“You have a test in art class?” I was trying to recall any type of grades attributed to my childhood art classes beyond a check mark for attendance.
“What? You mean calligraphy?”
We sparred for about five minutes, my certain she was mistaken, who learns cursive in art class? She was insistent and I asked for proof. Yep, nothing like demanding your ten year old to prove something but given everything that had transpired over the previous few days I am not surprised.
Anyway, Emma scrounged into her school bag and pulls out a white piece of paper with the tell-tale fat lines, large white space between them, and dark loopy lettering on top that was obviously cursive.
I still couldn’t believe she was taking cursive in art class when Emma said, “My teacher calls cursive an art.”
“Really? Well, back in my day, we learned cursive in our spelling class, not art,” I said in a voice that was missing the uphill both ways under blizzard-like conditions and barefoot. This is barely the crux of the story as Emma proceeded to inquire as to why this cursive business was so important. I tried to impress upon her, the reincarnation of my maternal persnickety grandmother, how one day she would be required to sign for something, say a house or car loan. Something that print and chicken scrawl would be invalid but require an illegible loopy cursive. If she ends up anything like her mother in terms of handwriting capabilities akin to a doctor’s, that is.
“Why do I have to learn the whole alphabet?”
“What do you mean? Of course you have to learn the whole alphabet, all the letters,” I answered only to receive a priceless response.
“My name doesn’t include all the letters of the alphabet.”
Now this is not the first matter-of-fact argument I’ve had with this child and had to laugh but the more I think about it, considering the situation her father and I had driven into starting Sunday night, I really wish Emma had been there. Her arguments are so dead on, precise, articulate and determined that while I told her it was important, I couldn’t help but to be impressed that she may be on to something.
Bethany J. Royer is the mother of two munchkins and has a serious case of psychology student senior-itis. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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