We were going through all the papers that have been coming home at the end of the school year. Things the kid had stuffed in his desk at school that probably were supposed to have come home earlier in the year.

Among them, a printed sheet (done as an exercise in word-processing, as near as we can tell) that reads as follows — including type-Os:

A Hero To Me

My Dad is my hero. He is my hero because he has made sure that I don’t get hit by a car, or burnt, myself ,or broken one of my bones. He also uses his own money that he works so hard to get buying things for me that I don’t really need. He is the cook at our house and I good things to eat and drink. He also takes me places to go and helps me to learn new things I didn’t know. He drives my family and I places also, so that we can go places. He is also very nice to my mom and I. My dad is my hero for all the different things he does even if he doesn’t have to or want to do it.

A few things here.

First (and let’s not lose sight of this), yes, it’s very sweet. He’s a nice kid. What can I say?

Second, I’m keeping this for the sheer joy of having in writing the confession that most of the things he’s always insisting he can’t live without are, indeed, things he doesn’t really need.

Third, when I was in 5th grade I was writing 7-page (typewritten — on a typewriter) research papers. And I don’t think I was particularly ahead of the curve at the time. Everyone in our class was expected to do it. Nor am I saying that his school is bad compared to other schools we’d have the option of sending him to. It’s actually one of the best public schools in the state. You can look it up. But there is so much emphasis on taking the fucking Common Core tests that none of his class is learning to write. I’m told that they start writing papers in 9th grade.

Fourth, I’m distressed that things like matching verb tense and using the correct pronouns has gotten by him. We don’t talk that way — “He drives my family and I places” — at home. I fear he may have written “my family and me” and had a well meaning teacher “fix” it.

But to come back to where I began: It’s nice to see what he tells people about me when I’m not around — and that it’s better than I often tell myself.