The assignment was to write a story, using the words listed in the box. My children always preferred to come up with their own topics to write about, and being given a list of words was too limiting for them. My daughter clearly was not excited about this particular writing task. As do many students with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), she wanted to complete the assignment quickly so she could move on to more engaging tasks. She fit as many of the words as she could into the fewest sentences possible. She didn’t find a spot for one of the words in the box, but that didn’t bother her since she wasn’t interested in writing about those words in the first place. For the record, I am not the woman who was “scared of mice.” In fact, over the years we have had a number of rodent pets including hamsters and mice. I have presided over a number of shoebox burials befitting a rodent. One time I couldn’t come up with anything nice to say about Tommy, the misanthropic finger biter, who latched on to any hand with an evil mousy grimace. We had to wear thick gloves just to feed him and then we had to shake him off our hands when we were done. He leered menacingly all the time until I finally told the children to try to avoid looking him in the eye so he wouldn’t give them nightmares. The other mice and hamsters were decent pets, and were eulogized appropriately. As for the rest of the story above, I do live with my husband and children. At the time of this brief essay, my children were still young enough to be losing baby teeth and it was an event to be celebrated when another tooth became loose and fell out. Last week, I had part of a lower molar break off. Loosing a tooth at this age is no longer exciting. In fact, it’s downright disconcerting. I called my dentist at 8:00 a.m. the morning of Christmas Eve., since I was trying to be thoughtful and not disturb him when it happened the night before. I think I woke him up. I told him what had happened, and he didn’t seem to think it was an emergency. I wasn’t convinced, since it has been many years since I last lost a tooth and I didn’t anticipate losing any more as an adult. I’ve had what’s left of the tooth repaired, and was reassured that “sometimes with age these things happen.” Sigh. This homeschool flashback could have an interesting twist if it were written today – the children and the Mom could each lose a tooth!