Ryan came home this weekend and mentioned that he had homework to do. A report on his family. Sunday morning arrived to him coming to Todd and I and saying he needed help with said homework and then handed us a paper from his International Cooking class. Ok, the word 'cooking' is setting off red lights isn't it? Cause you all know where this is heading! And it did.........
After looking over the paper I know that this was something he was handed a while ago. Months ago. Ok, more likely in September on the 1st day of class. This was no simple homework. This was a report. And that takes you down roads you haven't been on since highschool! It is about family history. Going back as far as you can. Now what 16 year old knows the history of his great, great, great Grandmother and when our family settled in this area? I don't even know all that!! This was NOT homework for a kid. This was parent homework. You know, that majorly impossible assignment that is handed to your child, that NO normal child would be able to do alone and so you end up staying up till 2am trying to complete it! If you have a child in school you know exactly what I mean by 'parents homework'. And if you don't, you will. You soon will!
So here is it, mid day on a Sunday and Todd and I are in a panic. Ryan's end of this report consisted of him writing a little about himself. He did that. Handwritten in pencil in about 2 minutes between calls from his girlfriend and the next xbox live game! OUR end? It consisted of Todd and I each writing about our family history. Mother and father's side. When did we move to this area? What is our heritage? Who is our family......as far back as you can go. (WHO thinks of these things? One very cruel teacher, that is who! ) Now throw in a family tree with names and dates. How Todd and I met and started our family. Oh, yes, and to cover the cooking aspect of it, you had to write about traditional family recipes, include recipes AND make a dish to bring in. Did I mention it was a Sunday afternoon? Now you fully understand our panic!
Now one would think it might be a simple task. The teacher obviously did! It really is not. Not in this day and age. I come from a small family compared to Todd's. But there are remarriages. And I didn't know the names of the 'original' grandfather or the maiden name of some long lost Great, great Grandmother! I called them things like Grandma Great or Grandpop or "You know that old person over there in the 70's print dress that I have never met?" ! So I called my father in hopes he might be able to shed some light. If truth be told, I am thinking he was about as confused as I was too! It was NO easy task!
Now throw in Todd's family. He is one of 4 children. All but one have children. And his mother is one of 10 children and 4 1/2 siblings from a remarriage. All but one had children. And her parents were from a large family and so on and so on and so on. I know the magnitude of this task and my poster board is NOT that large! I am trying to tone down Todd by cutting names. Todd is making it bigger and bigger and BIGGER by calling this relative and that relative. My little dogwood was turning into a mighty oak with links to Johnny Appleseed and war hero's!! Lets just say that some fighting happened over this homework assignment and leave it at that!
After I got through family history and backgrounds, I typed up family dishes which was rather easy. Even though, technically, I was not Polish, my Grandfather ( a product of a remarriage) was, as is Todd's family. So he and I grew up on Polish foods and kicked that out in no time. And God was on my side cause I just happened to have gone shopping the day before and had Kielbasa and Pierogies which I quickly threw together! Of course I have no dinner for tomorrow night now! But I got my homework done!
After we finished I put it together with a tired, satisfied sigh of relief and told him that now all he had to do was read it. His response was that he was not going to talk in front of the class because it makes him nervous. That was 25 points of his grade!!! I looked at him with an empty look in my tired eyes and said with about as much conviction as I could muster at 9pm, that I would kill him if he dared to not read that report and came home with a 75!!!!!!!!!! String him up by his Irish, Polish toes to the nearest family tree and leave him there to die!!!!!!!!!! Then I went to find my jammies.
Guess what? Ryan read that report!
So when the time comes that your child hands you a paper and says he needs help with his homework assignment or AKA report.........run. Run really, really, really fast! It's not really HIS. It's YOURS!