Nope. Not that kind. In fact, I have nothing to report on the Creating Something front.
No, I’m talking about pencils.
Do you love pencils? I do. Right here at my left hand is a jar (Mason. Pint. Narrow mouth.) full of pencils. Hang on, I’m gong to count them. Nineteen. Plus two Sharpies (one fine, one Ultra-Fine), and two pens (one red ink which writes too thin for me, and one black, pretty much just right). Also a 5 mL tube of acrylic paint (white). And a Fingerbowl moist towelette. (Don’t ask me, I just live here.) Four of the nineteen pencils have red lead. Five have some eraser left. One is mechanical.
Do you find this fascinating? Me, too. Funny thing is, pencils are very hard to come by when Kids come home from school and need to do homework. Suddenly There Are No Pencils In This House. Which, obviously… Well it’s just not the case. But nobody does the written kind of homework in the office. (It’s sort of forbidden, seeing as how it’s so, so easy to forget the Geometry problem you’re working, and just accidentally end up on Facebook.) Only the computer kind of homework gets done in here. Everything else happens at the kitchen table. All over the kitchen table. For several hours every afternoon. And here’s another small mystery of the universe: How can Every Single One of my gifted (that’s public-school Clocked, not only My Humble Opinion) children forget to put something under their homework Every Single Time? I’ve given up on the welts in the table. In fact, I sort of like them. All those chicken-scratchy divots prove that, over the years, much Work has been done, with matching Character built. But here’s what I hate: when they turn homework over to Side B, and all the pencil-marking hieroglyphics rub through onto my cheap kitchen table’s surface. The table, though? Loves those little pencil marks. Loves them so much it wants to hold on to them forever. Nothing short of sanding the surface of the table gets those pencil marks all the way off. And if you think I’m going to sand a table, well, you’re new here, aren’t you?
And I have to say, I love my old-school crank pencil sharpener. Because kids only sharpen when it needs to happen. As opposed to the fancy, battery-powered desk models, which sing the siren song, and my poor kids are helpless against it. I tie them, Ulysses-like, to their chairs and stuff spelling practice papers in their ears, but they insist on taking just a peek. Oh, the hubris. No kid in this house is strong enough to resist the call. Once-tall pencils are bitty nubs within moments. Prevention? Taking the extra steps (literally) to walk into the pantry, turn the corner, and crank the sharpener till the pencil is pointy-fine. That lasts just long enough for my kids to feel the Need to hide the pencil so nobody else could use up the super-pointiness. Hence, There Are No Pencils To Be Found. (Because none of them can remember where their exquisite hiding places were. Ever.)
But luckily, there are still markers and crayons. Because otherwise, how would Kid 3 (who as you may recall spent several days in the hospital last month) have written this note to her Grandpa John, who is in the hospital right now?
I’m sorry you’re sick.
The Hospital is NOT fun.
Get well and get OUT.
See? the important writing is still getting done. A sentence at a time, with pencils or without.