This morning I made the mistake of letting Theo stay home from school, because he looked absolutely miserable last night. Sore throat, stuffed nose, slight fever. And it was his second day with it, too.
As a result, I had the pleasure of enduring the passion of the Christ for the next twenty minutes, as I drove Ashes to school.
"Why does he get to stay home?"
"Because he's sick."
"He's not sick. He's just going to play video games all day. Why can't I stay home?"
"Because you're not sick."
"I have a stomach ache. I'm sick as he is, that little fake."
"You're not as sick as he is."
"You might as well let me stay home, because I'm not going to do anything all day at school. I'll refuse to."
"You'd better not. Your grades are bad enough as it is."
"I'm not going to change during gym class."
"You already have an F in gym. That would be a stupid idea."
"Too bad. And I'm going to drop out of school at 16."
"It's going to be tough to get into college in England if you drop out of school!"
"I don't want to. I'm gonna drop out at 16 and move to California to become an actress."
I can only imagine the sorts of movies that would give her roles, but I held my tongue.
"Let me stay home today or I'll drop out of school at 16!"
"I HATE YOU!"
She flipped open her cell phone and started typing away, furiously.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm saying to my friend Heaven all the things I want to say to you."
"She's lucky. She has a dad that's in jail and doesn't ever see her."
"Yeah. Lucky her."
"Why did we have kids again?" I asked Josie, after I had gotten Ashes to the bus, watched her get on, and then drove to the homestead to drop off her things.
Josie just shook her head. "Let Theo stay home, huh?"
She knows. She understands. She's been there, too.