The morning after my brush with homelessness, I found myself killing time at the bookstore. Waiting for the professor to return to Calgary so I could get back into the house. The very messy house I’d fully intended to clean the night before. Except I couldn’t because I’d locked myself out of the house.
My trusty cell phone rang. It was the professor, sounding decidedly grumpy. Perhaps because he’d just driven an hour and a half in the car with three boy-children. ‘We’re home’ he barked. And hung up the phone. Having spent time alone with our super-three before, I knew why he sounded so crabby. But I’d expected him to say something more along the lines of ‘you were homeless last night? You poor thing! How awful!’
So what if I’d slept on a cushy bed – there were ten very stressful minutes in there, somewhere.
I thought about calling the professor and telling him how hard it had been. But the phone rang. It was the professor, again.
He apologized for snapping at me. In a measured, stilted tone eerily reminiscent of a hostage speaking on the phone while a gun is being pointed at his head. ‘I forgot something that we all need to remember more, and that is living with heart.’
And then I knew who was holding Mr. Johnson hostage. It was the six year old. Living with heart is the (curious) motto of his elementary school. ‘Heart’ being some ridiculous acronym for helpful….empathy (maybe)….affirming (maybe)….respectful….trust.
Apparently the Gort had told his dad he’d sounded ‘really bossy’ and had counseled him that ‘something we need to remember is to live with heart.’
I’m guessing it’s not the last time we’ll be parented by our oldest.
Postscript. Apparently h.e.a.r.t is ‘helpful, empathy, acceptance, responsibility, trust’. At least I got three right. Anyway…it’s LEARNING with heart. Not living with heart. So the whole thing is a moot point. Take that, Mr. Gort!