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 Thursday, November 13, 2008

Smell the Roses

There's a certain time in the evening when the dog comes in and looks at us. It's not like dinner time, when he gets agitated and vocal and paws your leg to remind you. No, at this time in the evening, he comes into the room and sits directly in front of you and stares you down: ears back, eyes wide open, absolutely silent. The loudest silence you've ever heard.

We all know what it means, and it's really quite effective: time for his walk across the soccer fields to the woodsy area and the pond beside the school.

"Let's make this a family affair, shall we?" I said as Trudy, the dog and I stopped at the door.

"Come with us, Ben," I said. "Stop and smell the roses." Although this kid doesn't need that advice. His eyes are pretty wide open most of the time.

He looked up from his computer and turned his head in our direction. "I've smelled enough roses."

He was sitting in the green comfy chair with his laptop on his lap working on an essay. The document was marked up where I had given him my feedback — awkward phrases, missing commas, excessively harsh words, overly flowery language, the need for a better closing paragraph. There was yellow all over the page.

He was right. He had work to do. We walked out the door without him. There aren't any roses where we were going, anyway.

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