Hippie Lesson #2: Mother and Child Reunion

This past school year, I had a student in my 10th grade English class who, to put it in the mildest terms possible, had a problem respecting women. It was hoes this and hoes that all day long. At first, I took it as him not knowing any better, and I’d correct him, letting him know that term was unacceptable every time he had an outburst. Eventually, I moved on to a more hardline approach, booting him from the classroom every time his misogyny flared up. After a few months, it was clear that I wasn’t making any progress as a hardass, so I started considering the problem as a gardener.

One day, I walked into the classroom, and my student asked, as he was wont to do: “Hey Carpenter, where the hoes at?”

“They’re in my garden shed,” I told him, cheerily. “Thanks for asking.”

It was the first of many times we had the exchange, which, to a certain extent, we both delighted in. By the end of the school, I believe the word’s meaning was changing in his mind, and every time it slipped out of his mouth, he’d have to think of me, digging up weeds in my garden.

I was thinking of my student last week, when I went out to my garden shed, moved aside my hoes and other tools, and reached for that special lady in my life, the kombucha mother that had been incubating in my shed since April. She was brown, thick, and slimy, bubbling gently as she floated atop my jar of starter tea.

“It’s your big day, girl,” I whispered, leading her into the kitchen, where I’d already set out all of my ingredients and was ready to brew an enormous pot of green tea.

I tossed in teabag after teabag while kombucha mama settled the to the bottom her her jar and watched the proceedings from the kitchen counter, no doubt swelling with maternal pride, yeast, and bacteria.

When the steeping was done, I pulled a sopping teabag ratking out of the pot, thought about terrorizing Kat with it, but eventually just tossed it aside. I had work to do.

But surely, there's a place for this term in the modern American political lexicon.

Like last time, I sugared up my tea and added it to a jar, though this time on a much larger scale.

Mother (right) and Child (left)

When Junior had cooled sufficiently, I poured mama into the big jar, where the two swirled happily together. I knew I had done the right thing in bringing them together.

Mother settled down at the bottom of the jar, and started munching sugar. I knew those two had a lot of catching up to do.

A week later, I went out to the shed to catch up with the two of them. They’d grown together so much, it was hard to tell them apart. In another three weeks, junior will be ready to start a family of her own, and I, happily, will drink them up.

Chunky Mother beneath Veiny Baby Film

They wanted to feel pretty, so I took their photo in front of some flowers

About Mark

It is the business of the future to be dangerous; and it is among the merits of science that it equips the future for its duties. -A.N. Whitehead
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