Over the weekend Memory Girl and Auntie's daughter borrowed my Memory game and the book Not a Stick. Unfortunately, they got left out overnight in the thunderstorm. The book actually survived in decent shape, but the Memory cards were pretty much ruined. I let the girls divide up the ones that hadn't totally fallen apart and take them home.
I forget where I got that, but I'll have to go looking for a replacement. Once Memory returns, I think I'll have to be a bit stricter about how long you can use it and getting it back before night time.
On Sunday night we took out the ladder and Sarah, Brady Bughunter, a couple of his cousins and Jay-Z all got some turns climbing up and picking the long green cylinders off my tree that isn't a maple tree. I wish I knew what kind of tree this is, but I don't. The pods are a foot long and solid. I assume it is some kind of seed, but if so, it's all one seed--we opened one up and didn't find seeds inside.
Jay-Z helped me transplant my basil into a big pot. He dug the hole, and I put the plant in to make sure it was at the right level. Then he filled in the dirt while I went over and turned on the hose, gently. He picked up the hose and watered the newly potted plant.
"Thanks for helping, Jay-Z," I said.
"I like helping," he answered.
Lest we forget, this is the same kid who has a mother in jail and a father on the corner with a bottle in his hand. One or maybe even two of his cousins just got out of the big house. His auntie worries he will grow up to be a criminal.
I worry about that, too. And I worry that people will look at Jay-Z and never even know that he likes to chase bugs and pick pods off trees and that he likes to be helpful if you give him a job to do.
I don't know if it's a cultural loss of memory or if we just don't want to know, but we seem to be good at forgetting that "those kids" who struggle in school, who get in trouble, who make great fodder for sociological study, they really aren't all that terribly different from "our kids:" nieces, nephews, sons, daughters, kids known to the people who study sociology or write newspaper columns about "those kids."
So I hope I don't forget Jay-Z's smile on the ladder, reaching for the green pod hanging just beyond his fingertips.