Note: my first son is enjoying a name-change at the moment. He has chosen to be called Biwa, his baby nickname, developed by him before he could speak correctly. He asked me last week if he could change his name, then relented because he was afraid the other kids would make fun of him. I explained to him that kids can always find something to pick on if they want – they wouldn’t need a strange name if they wanted to tease him, and that his name defined him only if he let it. So he chose to revert to this strange, entirely unique, made-up name (also a Japanese instrument.) After retraining myself to call him only Braeden, it is an arduous trial for my brain to relearn his moniker, so I often resort to Sweetie, but I think he is on to me!
This week is about grammar and writing. In the past, I have told my eldest child that writing is painting with words. Because he is enthusiastic about putting paintbrush to paper, I figured this would impress on him the beauty that he can uncover with words. His blank look indicated otherwise, I’m afraid. Then, out of the blue, I suppose something inside his brain clicked.
At the end of each week, our curriculum calls for Braeden Biwa to write an essay. Each week they modify the format slightly, making it progressively more complex and challenging. The essay is often met with tears and complaints, but this week, for no apparent reason, Braeden Biwa dove enthusiastically into the construction of his paper.
The topic he chose from the list was why he liked or did not like a certain food.
What’s Wrong with Spinach?
By Biwa Sorbo
I have discovered that I dislike spinach for several reasons. Although many people enjoy eating spinach because it is considered nutrictious [sic] and beneficial, for me, spinach is the most disgusting vegetable. Spinach’s worst offences are its bad taste, horrible smell, and squishy texture.
One of the reasons I hate to eat spinach is because of its repulsive taste. When I was six, I tried it for the first time and it took four applications of mouthwash to get the taste out of my mouth. Another reason I don’t care for spinach is because it smells like a stinky swamp. When my mother made creamed spinach, I almost threw up in my soup! The final reason I abhore [sic] this nasty vegetable is because of its gritty texture. When my mom made me try spinach it stuck to my teeth like tinfoil, making me very uncomfortable.
Spinach has to be the worst vegetable known to mankind. It certainly is for me. There are many foods I like to eat, but spinach is not one of them.
I did help him construct this, make no mistake, but the enthusiasm and illustration in the piece is all his. I happen to strongly disagree with its sentiment, but the paper certainly stands on its own with regards to passion and color.
Paint me proud.