Since Elijah began Kindergarten, our house has become overrun with paper. Our first floor resembles that of a hoarder. With teetering piles of handmade books titled “N” and stacks of cafeteria menus featuring delights such as “Bosco Stick” and “Goldfish Bun.”
Somewhere in this menagerie of pulp, we discovered an invitation to “Literary Night.” Judging by the books Eli brings home (“N”), I didn’t think this would involve the Melville’s exploration of sexual identity in “Moby Dick.” But I had the good fortune of not working late, so I joined in.
After sizing up our parental competition and determining we were the coolest (Callie and Liddy’s dad was there, a close second) we took our tiny seats next to Elijah.
After explaining some important keys to helping our son learn to read or something, his teacher gave each family an assignment. On a big piece of paper, we were instructed to make a drawing of our family, plus our favorite foods, our favorite places to visit and our favorite activities.
After drawing all of us including a pretty dead on Grover, we talked to Elijah about the other topics.
We decided to depict the fictionalized version of our family, The Harmons. The Harmons did not include 4 hours of TV in the activity section. The Harmons also eat a ton of vegetables and go for breakfast every weekend with the poor.
Elijah got bored and decided to quiz the other kids at the table about their activities. Our area of the classroom quickly turned into “Latenight with Elijah Hamann.” He conducted his interviews with the grace and wit of an early David Letterman. “Mmhmm. Tell me more about this bike riding. I mean, it is great or what?”
Eventually, the students gave a little presentation to the class about their family. I quickly discovered Eli’s class was filled with really great kids who did masterful jobs of lying about what their families do. Much like the Harmons.