Friday, June 15, 2012

Mulan: An Epitaph and Addendum***

Yeah, I know. How perfect is this French postcard?

Mulan didn't make it home yesterday afternoon, but Brooklyn did, cracked-up, to be sure, but nestled securely in his box and held by Noah.

We threw Mulan out, Mom, Henry told me when I asked where she was. It was the end of the project, he added and turned on the radio. Geez, I said, just like that, she's gone? Yesterday, when I tried to take the picture of a beautiful young classmate of Henry's who was wearing her egg in a lovely box around her neck, he stopped me, embarrassed. Thinking of Mulan lying at the bottom of a school trash can made me wonder how some of the girls might have dealt with the end of the project. But the radio played one of the six songs it rotates through, and the three boys talked over one another like they generally do. They told me in their already-deep voices about an egg fight that broke out between two other boys. Evidently, when the project was declared finished, a few of the boys started throwing eggs back and forth, and since this is Los Angeles and the 21st century, another boy filmed it. Before long, one boy threw an egg a bit too hard at another boy who then put the egg-thrower in a choke-hold and then punches started flying. The guy with the camera phone kept filming.

It was a real fight, Mom, Henry said, laughing, and when I asked who broke it up and what the consequences were, he admitted that he didn't know and that he'd just watched the video.

Reader, go where you'd like with that.

So, guys, I said, when they'd calmed down relating the fight to me,  you each have to tell me what you learned with this egg baby project in two sentences or less. Henry?

Henry said, I learned that it's really hard and stressful to take care of a baby, even if it is for a week and it's an egg.

Noah said, Yeah, I'd basically say the same thing as Henry. And I learned that I'd do anything to get enough money to get out of debt.

I nodded my head and decided to no longer be smug and satisfied. You know, there's a lot of joy, too, in a baby -- way more joy than anxiety and stress, anyway. 

But only if you're ancient in years and experience, I added, and the boys rolled their eyes.

***The comments provoked my memory, and I completely forgot to tell ya'll that Oliver was sitting in the car during the discussion about Mulan's demise, and do you know what he said?

You know what, Mom? When I do the egg project, I'm going to have TWO eggs, TWINS!

 Like one of my old writing mentors said about memoir, "you really can't make this sh#$@ up"

Stay tuned. I'll probably have twin grandeggs in two years.


  1. Boys punch each other, girls knife each other in back. Vive la difference!

  2. So much of the project work (mobiles, dioramas, anyone?) in school is so tedious - but this was really brilliant. I hope A has something like this next year.

  3. Well, poor Mulan. We knew him well.
    It just completely cracks me up that the boys took their "babies" and had an egg fight with them.
    It was a good exercise. Not a perfect one, but a good one.
    I'm gonna miss Mulan. I really am.

  4. No more Mulan and Brooklyn? Oh dear.

    How many years till Oliver does this exercise?

  5. the postcard is priceless!

    so...the next logical step is to teach boys how NOT to have a baby, right? Was that part of the lesson plan?

  6. Damn. I feel kind of sad and empty inside. That's it? *sigh*

  7. To be honest, I wouldn’t mind throwing a few eggs to help release some of my pent up parental frustrations. Of course the eggs wouldn’t be my precious babies and the egg throwing would not escalate into full-scale war, but then again I am not a teenage boy. BTW, the postcard is hysterical! I have enjoyed reading your Mulan-the-egg series!

  8. RIP Mulan. It does seem like a rather unceremonious end, doesn't it?

  9. Hilarious. The way you write, I feel like I was right there.

  10. This morning the CBS Sunday News show had a young man describing what it was like to father a baby mid-senior year in high school. It was honest and touching. You should have the boys watch it. It might be provide more thought provoking closure to the project than an egg fight. Or not :)

  11. i went back and caught up on the "mulan" stories. I think you have the makings of a lovely and publishable short story, here. you are a wonderful writer, and the antics of your sons make me smile...

  12. I think the Mulan story deserves its own place in an anthology.



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