Sometimes I worry that I will run out of things to write about. I keep lists. When I get an idea or something happens, I write it down. But I when I write about the last thing on the list I wonder what will happen the next day. What if I wake up and there is nothing left to say? Could I get a job writing story problems for math textbooks? I don’t know. Is it not logically inevitable that I will come to the place that is the end of anything new?
And then came Slobergas.
It always means something when the kids get out of the car without me making them close their books. Usually it means they’re hungry. Sometimes it means they have a mission. Last week they had a mission, and his name was Slobergas.
Slobergas is a stray dog (loosely defined as a dog that strays). I’m sure Slobergas has an owner and a proper name, but what Slobergas clearly loves is a good wander. Daily, he wanders over to the school and says hello, saunters around the playground and the parking lot. Teachers apparently aren’t wild about him. The kids think he drools a lot, has a particular kind of smell, and would make an excellent mascot.
A child (named “not mine”) took Slobergas’s two great attractions together and won the playground debates that settled on the dog’s name. Obviously none of them can spell, but they insist that spelling of a proper name is up to the namer and not subject to the normal rules of spelling. Hence, “Slobergas,” not “Slobbergas.”
It was my child that insisted a campaign was in order. That’s why they even knew we had arrived home or bothered to get out of the car that day. They had posters to make, pictures to draw, even a poem to write about the school dog, Slobergas. Not just a dog, but Slobergas, a dog worthy of being a mascot. Every school should have a mascot and Slobergas should be ours says Boy two. The boy who makes pulling teeth with pliers seem like a dream job rather than get him to focus on school work after hours, happily spent hours revising, perfecting, and directing the mascot efforts. The next morning on the way to school, he remained in a dreamy euphoria.
“I really like doing campaigns and stuff. Trying to change things and get people to vote. I’m really happy about Slobergas,” he said.
And really, so am I. Slobergas isn’t something I created. Beautiful, silly, delightful things are everywhere. It’s not my job to make them up, just the work of a lifetime to keep noticing them. And sometimes, to write down what I see.