I love my kids so much. I love that despite the divorce and the death of their grandmother last February they still don’t know everything bad in the world. They’re still innocents in many ways. I want to protect that innocence, too.
My twelve year old son is now in 7th grade and he had to fill out lots of student forms the first couple weeks of school. I had to sign each to show that I was aware of what he had to do. I skimmed some of his answers and tried to correct a few misspellings so he made a better first impression. And then I flat out changed one of his answers. I know, I know. It wasn’t my paper and wasn’t my answer, but God help me, I couldn’t have the world knowing the truth.
The question : What newspapers and news magazines does your family subscribe to?
My son’s answer: The Seattle Times, People Magazine and Sports Illustrated
Bless my son. He was honest. We do get the Seattle Times every morning and I love my People and Jake loves his SI, but those aren’t the magazines teachers want us to receive. We don’t subscribe to Time, Newsweek or New Republic. We don’t read Atlantic Monthly or The New Yorker, either. But I can’t have him telling a teacher that People is our source of news. It’d be like admitting that my evening news is Inside Edition. Those are the secrets we carry with us to the grave. Heck, I’m not just a novelist. I’m a former award winning Social Studies & English teacher. I’m supposed to be educated about current events, and Britney’s meltdown at the MTV Awards Show doesn’t count as a true current event.
So gently, using an eraser, I rubbed out People and SI and filled in National Geographic and Smithsonian.
I do get them.
Not that I always read them.