Speechless in the Second Grade
Two dozen pairs of eyes are staring at me, waiting for me to speak. I was waiting in the hallway, listening while my son introduced my line of work to his second grade classmates. His teacher, Miss Primcut, looks like she's fighting to keep her composure. I can't blame her, because I heard what happened after she called my son, Jimmy, to the front of the class to announce my profession. He also fielded some preliminary questions about my work from his classmates, some of whom I recognized.
"My dad writes blogs," he announced proudly. One kid asked, "What's a blog?"
Before he could answer, Kevin offered his idea. "I think it's one of those words where they put two words together. See? Blue and log put together make blog."
"That's silly," complained Jessica.
"Why's the log blue?" asked a girl. "What happened to make it sad?"
"Maybe it didn't get enough sleep," a boy guessed.
At this point I was in the hallway thinking, "Huh?"
My son jumped back into the conversation. "No, a blog isn't a sad log. It's something my dad writes on the internet. He tells everyone what he thinks about stuff that's going on."
A girl asked, "Do a lot of people read what he blogs?" She giggled after saying blogs.
"Does everyone like what he blogs?" Skip asked, also giggling.
"No, not everyone," Jimmy answered.
"Is that why he's sad?" Skip asked, still giggling.
"He's not sad!" my son insisted.
"Oh yeah," Jessica reminded everyone. "It's the log that's sad."
"No, it's blue," Kevin insisted.
"Is that because it's a boy log?" a different girl asked. "Because I think everyone would like it better if it was a pink log."
"That's impossible," Kevin insisted. "It's a blog, not a plog."
Penelope piped up. "We had a sad log once, but it's not sad anymore."
"Why was it sad," a girl asked, sounding concerned.
"We had it cut in pieces and then we burned it in the fireplace, she replied. Several kids sounded like they felt sorry for the log.
My son tried again to regain control. "My dad blogs about hot topics and then people write what they think about what he wrote.
"How does he know when it's a hot topic," a boy asked. "Does his computer start to smoke?"
"Our computer smoked once," said Penelope. "I spilled my hot chocolate on it."
My son answered the question, pretending like he hadn't heard Penelope. "No, he knows it's a hot topic if he gets a lot hits."
Victor, from Jimmy's Little League team asked, "Does your dad play baseball?"
"No silly," Jessica countered, "Nerds don't play baseball."
Miss Primcut uttered a sharp, "Jessica!"
"Anyway," my son took a deep breath and continued, "dad writes his blogs weekly."
"Wouldn't he get more hits if he wrote strongly?" Kevin asked.
"Strongly is not a word," Jessica corrected, "is it Miss Primcut?"
Victor offered a suggestion. "He might get more hits if he choked up."
My son defended me, I guess. "No, he never chokes, he just coughs sometimes and man, can he ever sneeze." It sounded like the whole class laughed after that revelation.
"But why does he write weakly?" Kevin asked, still confused.
"My dad is weak," Penelope said. "My mom says he can't even lift a finger around the house." The class was quiet for a moment as they absorbed her revelation.
I sensed that my son was tiring of the limelight. He announced proudly, "My mom says my dad will be famous someday because of his blogging." He stepped to the doorway and signaled for me to enter, and then proudly announced, "Everyone, meet my dad the blogging nerd!"
I step into the room. Miss Primcut is trying hard not to laugh. Then several kids start talking at once. A little blond girl in the first row says, "He doesn't look sad." Another kid is asking if I take my vitamins every day. I guess she figures I'll be stronger if I do. Victor has found a yard stick and is choking up on it like it's a bat and is begging for my attention. Penelope is blurting out something about how her dad is bigger than Jimmy's dad…and suddenly, in front of a class of 2nd graders, I'm afraid to open my mouth.
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