Tag Archives: Star Wars

Two Can Ay-Play at This Game

There has been a lot of talk in my house lately that I just don’t want to hear. Your kids reach a certain age. They begin to understand certain things. They’re capable of using words in ways that you just hoped would never happen.

“Euss-gay at-whay?” my son says to me.

I cringe. He then rolls out an entire sentence without stumbling using the most annoying invention known to parents—Pig Latin.

Oh, yes. I know we’ve all experimented with it. We tried it. For most of us, we just didn’t like it. Too much work. My son likes the control. He likes how my shoulders jump to my ears every time he belts out a sentence or two, flawlessly. He loves that it seems to pierce my ears like nails on a chalkboard and blind my eyes like bright white sun.

Make it stop. Make. It. Stop.

If I hear it one more time, I’m going to eam-scray.

“Om-may, an-cay I-ay atch-way e-thay ame-gay?”

“I’ll answer you when you can talk the right way,” I say. Or I ignore him. Or I scream inside my ead-hay.

It’s been going on for weeks. I’ve heard it so often that I can sometimes decipher his long sentences with ease. And I don’t want to. This morning I found myself thinking in Pig Latin. Epressing-day. It is rubbing off on me. I’m afraid I’ll answer another mom at school or a client on the phone in Pig Latin. “I have an 11-year-old son,” I’ll say and hope that clears things up.

But I think I’ve come up with a solution. It’s going to take some practice.


Yes, the language spoken by Ewoks. He won’t even know what I am saying but he’ll want to know so badly, it will hurt.


I have a lot of studying to do.

“Che womok! Na goo. Noot.” (Beware! Stop now.) And while he’s at it, “Amoowa manna manna seeg toma jeejee.” (You have a food on your face.) Because that’s just a given.

I think sometimes the suffering is worth it when you can beat your child at his own game, right?



Filed under Family

Author Uses ‘The Force’ to Inspire Reading, Origami, and More

I’ve tried getting my kids into origami before. A dozen or more steps to create a paper crane just doesn’t excite a boy who likes to line up peculiar plastic creatures and make them yell and knock each other down.

My daughter struggles with the folds. By the time we finish, either she ends up with a seriously misshapen beast or I’ve done the whole thing for her. Heck, then it’s mine. It’s just not that fun for us.

So why for two days was I not able to cut squares of paper fast enough or stock the right folding papers or print directions in a timely manner? My son has found origami that speaks to him, and when it does it uses the voices of his favorite Star Wars characters. “Fold this corner next, you will.”

origami Yoda

The first of many origami Star Wars characters my son has created.

In preparation for the book signing of Tom Angleberger’s latest book in the Origami Yoda series, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, we were a busy bunch. Each book comes with origami directions for a Star Wars character the book is based on and Angleberger’s site origamiyoda.com includes even more fun origami directions. My son made them to take to the book signing.

Angleberger did not disappoint. If you didn’t know how to make an origami Yoda when you went, you did when you left. He showed the kids a good time, their way, with drawings and shooting boogers and lots of kids named Larry.

Seeing an author in person inspires kids. They can get lost in a good story, but meeting an author and hearing that he was a weird kid makes him relatable. Kids identify with someone like that. If they’re not the weird kid, they know someone who is. They see he turned out all right and that gives them hope. Maybe it lets them know they’re OK and that one day all of those odd little mushroom men and eraser beings they make and curious things they do have the potential to be something big.

And us parents who take our kids to see inspiring authors like Angleberger, we have to remember that too. Every little thing our kids do, read, watch, build, play, or draw could inspire them in hundreds of ways we’ll never know. Today’s strange little creatures could be tomorrow’s movie or book or sculpture or song. Hey, a mother can hope too.

Darth Paper origami

Your mother doesn’t want you to join the Dark Side.


Filed under Boy Stories

In the Race for First, Get Out of the Way!

“First is the worst. Second is the best. Third is the one with the hairy chest!” My son chants this as we near our neighborhood after school some days. When we pull in the driveway, the kids make a beeline from the back of the van to the doors. They not only want to be first out of the van, but they also want to be first into the house, immediately forgetting the rules of my son’s cheer. It’s every kid for himself.

As they shove each other out of the way, they and their backpacks become a tangled mess of limbs and torsos wedged between the seats. My daughter cries. My son’s backpack, so overstuffed with Star Wars books, plugs the aisle like a giant cork. The kids both scream at each other to MOVE! I am tempted to walk away and tell them that I will be first in the house and they can work it out, but my daughter’s tears guilt me into overseeing the torment. The neighbors, already on alert that we are home, would surely disagree with my abandonment.

The culprit of many after school backseat traffic jams.

These are good times. Luckily for me, this happens at least once a week.

The backpack finally gives, my son escapes, and the kids elbow each other along the sidewalk, tears still flowing. At this point, I yell to just STOP IT! I open the front door, the kids fall in, backpacks fly, kids bolt to the bathroom to wash hands, more tears from the one who didn’t make it there first. Then they fight and cry about who was first yesterday to get in the van, get out of the van, get in the house, wash their hands, get upstairs. It exhausts me and I am just a spectator in this vicious sport. To top it all off, it turns out I am often the one with the hairy chest around here.

I can tell you who’s first to get a headache. Mom. I can’t tell you whose temper is first to flare. They pretty much all set off at one time.

What happened to first being the worst? I guess no matter how they look at things, coming in first always looks best. Hey kids, I have a rhyme for you: “First is the worst, second is a pest, third is the one who yells GIVE IT A REST!”


Filed under Can't Get a Break, Everyday Life

George Lucas, We Need to Talk

When Star Wars grabbed my son’s attention, it didn’t take hold like other phases he’s skipped through. He didn’t just buy all of the books he could find and get all of the Star Wars Lego sets that holidays would allow, then move on to the next big adventure. No, he’s settled in long enough to know those books inside and out. He lectures me with details of characters whose electric-colored skin and snakelike hair only flash on the screen for half a second, long enough for a little boy to want to know who that character is and where he can get one.

His mania has lasted long enough for him to spend hours with bricks, instructions, and nimble fingers to create replicas of spaceships and scenes. Movies need to be watched, pages need to be read, and pictures need to be sketched of the insanely ingenious creatures.

I have a feeling a battle is about to begin....Ewoks, get ready.

Like many families around the world since the 1977 reveal, we have been knocked into space with no map and there’s no escape hatch. No Wookiee will rescue us from the dark side of clever marketing aimed at every eight-year-old boy and up. We are simply doomed. Star Wars has become part of our life.

At breakfast, we get to hear all about the new Lego sets coming out. After all, someone is turning nine soon. Bits of paper lay scattered around the house with odd beasts penciled onto them, dreamed by a boy with an imagination sparked by the likes of shape-shifting bounty hunters, giant aqua monsters, and funny-talking Gungans.

Did George Lucas know what he was doing when he created this other galaxy? Surely, he had no idea how big Star Wars would become. That boys, big and little, would spend hours on the toy aisle considering which character they should add to their collection. Thankfully, there are hundreds. Did he know moms would brandish light sabers, choose the Force or the Dark Side, and fight their children in battles of good and evil across pillows and couches, or do spot-on Chewie impersonations even though they were secretly terrified of him as a child? Does he hear about it every waking minute of the day from an obsessed eight-year-old? Does George Lucas ever play Star Wars? What is his favorite character? I’ll let him have my son for an afternoon to discuss it.

When your son takes your daughter’s barrette with long purple braids attached, snaps it into his hair, and announces he’s a Jedi, you know you have a problem. “Padawan, there is much to teach you. Controlled Jedi are. Use the force they do. Roll around like an animal they don’t.” Hmm, maybe I could use this to my advantage.

"Listen to your mother you will."

It’s said George Lucas drew from his childhood love of Flash Gordon, among other things, for Star Wars inspiration. I can only wonder what my son’s current Star Wars obsession will bring to his future. Will he create beloved characters for a new generation based on his love for Star Wars as he says he will? Or will he use his imagination for something else in brand-new ways? As a parent, I never know how all of the weird, nonsensical stuff my children do will one day play out in their future. But I know it’s my job to let them imagine, create, and have fun, to feed that curiosity. It’s also my mission to keep them away from the dark side.



Filed under Boy Stories, Everyday Life