The Sadness in Grammar

We are smelling the barn around here.

I mean, it’s almost the end of the school year and we are feeling it.  We are working hard to get through our goals set (by me) and times tables.  And maybe a little better reading skills for Cooter.  Yes, I’m pleased he’s reading at all.  Yes, I feel better about his ability to learn.  But I think the boy doesn’t care if he ever gets out of first grade.  Maybe it won’t matter.  If folks don’t already think I’m his grandmother, they likely will in a few years, and when they ask me why he’s so old and still in grade one, I can shake my head, shrug, and say, “His parents.  What are you gonna do?”  That should work, right?

Today I sat with our Princess going over her grammar lessons.  Today we were discussing “am/is/are,” “was/were,” and “has/have/had.”


I asked her to fill in the blanks.

“Sam and Will ______ in town yesterday.”  Were.  Yes.

“We ________ leaving in a few minutes.”  Are.  Check.

“We _______ a horse when I was growing up.”

Princess flopped back on Cap’s couch where we were sitting and lay there, staring up at the ceiling.

“What’s wrong? Don’t you know this one?”  I asked.

“Yes.  Had.  But I don’t like the word had.  It’s a sad, sad word.”  She huffed indignantly, still staring.


“I don’t like it,” she repeated, as she folded her arms across her chest.  “Because it’s a word about the past.  You had something but now you don’t.  It’s just too sad.”

And then she teared up.

And so did I.

Some days we are coasting along doing our day to dailies, and while we miss those whom we love and have lost, we don’t talk about it much.  And then some days like today, it comes up when you least expect it–in a grammar lesson.

And when that happens, the best thing to do is close the book and hold each other close.

Yeah, I’m glad we are winding down this school year.  It’s been a long one.

Love to all and hope for joyful memories from the “hads” in your life.




8 thoughts on “The Sadness in Grammar”

  1. Just amazing. A fiction writer could not have created a more perfect moment. So glad you were there for the hugs.

    I’ve never before heard the phrase “we’re smelling the barn,” but it is a new favorite. Also perfect.

    1. Cynthia, I am humbled by your kind words. Thank you. I am glad too. It’s so unpredictable when and where these emotions can hit us.
      Smelling the barn. 🙂 Yeah, it’s a good one, isn’t it? How about y’all? Are you ready for the end of this school year?
      Thank you for reading and for your encouragement. ❤

  2. “Had is Sad” could be a good title 😉 I lament over the had’s too, so tell the little princess that. But then there’s have, and we couldn’t have without having had had. (oh my that may be a little to Seuss-Like). I had a wonderful weekend with friends, and now I have wonderful memories. And if I had never gone, I’d never have those in my heart forever.

    1. I love your Seuss-isms. 🙂 You make a good point, even though my head is spinning. I will tell her. You are right. We had a wonderful time, and now we have motivation to get all of us together again sooner rather than later, right? Precious memories. For sure.

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