Living with heart

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!

7 thoughts on “Living with heart

  1. Nicola, this is hilarious…my daughter has just started kindergarten this year, and she too learns many things at school that she needs to teach us.
    I read your blog every so often…I feel that I need to confess that so I don’t feel like I’m spying on your life.

  2. Is the school aware that they have four nouns and an adjective? The writer in me cringes that they are not all the same part of speech.

  3. Tan, I was thinking the same thing and almost wrote it that way! Diana, I think THAT’s why I think the motto is so dumb. Jen – we often reminisce about the Berlin days and Jason busts out a ‘Jen Mundell’ in his best German accent. Kim, no sympathy. I’m in a house full of boys.


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