Today is the second day of school in our household, and my eldest started out the day Seriously Displeased with me.

Wait, back up. Not started, precisely. He actually started the day being nervous. Today is the day, after 40+ hours of practice driving since he got his permit in January, and a driver's ed course he passed with flying colors, and the finishing of the required nighttime practice hours (do you know how hard that is to do in the summertime, when it doesn't get dark until late?), that I took him to test for his conditional driver's license.

He passed. Of course. (Not that I'm proud of him or anything.)

But then we had to come home and start school.

The conversation went sort of like this:

Him: Can I just do algebra today and call it school??

Me: No. *moment of thought* You know, if you really applied yourself to all the piddling stuff you have to do, you'd get through all of it by the end of August. [that's the finish-up stuff we didn't get done this summer, because of trips out of town and mega-batches of green beans and such]

Him [rough paraphrase]: I get really sick of tedious work and writing useless things.

Me: *dramatic gasp* Newsflash! Just because YOU think it's useless ... doesn't mean it is!

Him: *assumes authoritative tone* I am ... Son of Troy! I deem it useless!!

Me: *another dramatic gasp* Double newsflash! Nobody died and made you two God!

Him [rough paraphrase]: Nooooooooo!!!! (devolving into grumbles)

The Serious Displeasure began when he actually set to work. Minor complaints about tedium met with "Tough, do it anyway." All the lecturing genes from my side of family kicked in as he launched into this tirade about what a horrible manager I am of our household, and a rotten mother ... I swear if I let the boy continue, he would have found a way to blame me for the war in Iraq, as well. After catching myself trying to make a rational defense (a mistake; this sort of thing doesn't respond to reason, even in teens), I finally informed him that I would not be haranged by him on the subject, and that I didn't want to hear another complaint about how awful he thinks I am. End of discussion.

Wonder of wonders, he shut up.

Funny how the enemy can't stand it when we actually try to do our job.

I also kept reminding myself of the verse Karen H. posted this morning on her blog: "God is able to make all grace ABOUND to you, that ALWAYS having ALL sufficiency in EVERYTHING you may have an ABUNDANCE for EVERY good deed." ~ 2 Co 9:8. While I'm making the bed, and the two toddlers are "helping" their older siblings with schoolwork, and the almost-9-yo. is struggling to understand her math, and the oldest wants me to "come here, right away!" :-)

And y'know what? We made it through.

I can do this. Grace, and strength, and even poise under fire.


  1. Hang in there, chica. You'll survive. Stick to your guns and you'll win the war. Might lose a few battles along the way and earn a few battle scars, but they'll be worth it in the long run.

    Don't try to answer irrational behavior with reason. My folks tried that with my 2 younger brothers? Only merited a lack of respect and refusal to move when told. Now, they'd rather "discuss" instead of obey. (sigh)

    Keep at it!


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