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babyzilla con yogurt, originally uploaded by MzMuze.


My mom just came by to drop off information about half a dozen local private and charter schools. Thanks Mom. I feel supported by you in my choice to homeschool.

My choice is not rock solid though; in fact its downright mushy and muddy. So I looked into the schools she brought info on, all of which I’d looked at before, and thought, “Maybe I should do another round of private school apps; we only applied to that one school last year. Another one might have more scholarship funds, or a lower tuition…” In particular there’s a progressive school near my house (walkable) that is affiliated with Tufts and is cheap by private school standards.

So I say to Rio, “Do you like homeschooling? Do you miss preschool?”

“I miss preschool,” she says. “I prefer to homeschool.” (yes, this is how my four-year-old talks)

“Oh,” I say. “Well, I like homeschooling now. But I know things might be different next year. Maybe you will want to go to school, and you can tell me anytime if you do.”

Rio, “I think I want to keep homeschooling until I get too big for it.”

Me, “What is too big for homeschooling?”

Rio screws up her face and thinks about this for awhile. “I think maybe when I’m…forty. Then I will be too big for homeschooling.”

Me, “What will you do then?”

Rio, “Start a new school.”

Some of you will recall that Harry Potter used to be Rio’s closest imaginary friend. One day he disappeared on her and she was So Sad. I tried to comfort her, and we both knew there’s not much Mom can do when a boy stands you up. Even an imaginary boy.

Yesterday, Harry made a new appearance in our lives. Rio informed us around dinnertime that she and Harry are married. They have twin girls, Anna and Hannah. Harry works at the farm share, where he grows vegetables in a garden. He harvests the vegetables and brings them to Rio, who cooks them into food that they sell at market. Harry works very hard every day, and Rio gets very tired taking care of their babies while he’s at the farm. Harry loves her very much, and they are a happy family.

After telling us all this (by far the longest and most complex narrative she’s ever created), Rio took us upstairs to meet Harry, who was lying in bed in their apartment (conveniently located in the same part of the universe as her actual bedroom). She explained that Harry has to lie in bed because he injured his foot in a fire. When we arrived in the “apartment”, she imagined Harry so vividly that Serena began excitedly pointing at something invisible on the bed and chattering to Harry as if he were really there.

This morning, Rio woke up still married. All day she needed to open and close doors for Harry, who was going around on crutches while his foot healed. She asked me to slow down for him at the grocery store and served him food at lunch.

Then after lunch, she said, “Mom, I’m not going to play with Harry anymore. I only want to be with my family. I noticed that I have just been pretending Harry. And that doesn’t give me much love.”

But a few minutes ago when I told her I was writing about her and Harry, she sang this song:

“There I was, looking for a husband.
So Harry showed up, and said I want to be your husband.
So me and Harry and got married, and we had two little babies.
I love them really much, really much, really muuuuch.”

Mom! I am magic! I can do anything you want me to do! I can even do some things you don’t want me to do!

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A little bird told me…

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