The other day when Bay exited school he entered the car and triumphantly announced he was now reading The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas. “Is that the book your reading for Creative Writing?” I asked. During meet the teacher night, his creative writing teacher told us parents, she wanted the class to read any book of their choosing (within parameters) for pleasure. This way she could discuss the novel’s flow and translate that writing style into a lesson. “No, I’m reading The Lord of the Rings for that class.” He informed. “Ah…but haven’t you already read that book?” I asked. Truth be told, my hubby read The Lord of the Rings to him when he was eight-years-old and then he read the book himself at twelve. In addition, not three months ago he purchased a deluxe leather bound version of that book. “Yea…but you tend to discover new things every time you read the book” He said before adding, “Besides this will make my overall work load a little easier.” 

“Okay but how did you come up with The Count of Monte Cristo to read?” I wondered. “Eh it was recommended to me by someone whose opinion I trust.” He said. “Who, your Uncle Bill?” I asked. “No.” He replied. “Your English teacher?” “No.” “Creative writing teacher?” “No”. “Your friend Marcus?” “No” the traffic monitor at school?” I asked sarcasticly” “No.” He replied with no elaboration whatsoever.

“Bayyy” I said.

After a long pause he opened up. “Aaron Hanson said it was a kick ass book”. “Who is Aaron Hanson, a classmate? I wondered. “No, he’s an animator by trade, but he plays video games with his friends and makes videos of them playing which are hilarious to watch. During one video he talked about how this (he held up the book to show me) was one of his favorite books because the Count kicks ass to reclaim what was stolen from him. So I made a mental note to look the book up to read.”


On this morning’s drive to school, I noticed how intently he was reading the book while simultaneously listening to his classic rock mix on Spotify.  “You seem to be taken by the book”. I said. “I’m really glad I’m reading this book, it’s really really good.” He said with a smile. “And the dude who recommended the book is on YouTube?” I asked making small talk. “Yes and his videos are hilarious”. “I’m glad it’s a good book Bay, I’m just suspect because you’ve given creedance to some dude on the Internet, yet whenever your dad or I make a suggestion you totally ignore us”. 

He smiled and said, “Besides the fact that your recommendations suck, I’m sixteen and wired to not like anything you do or say. Therefore I won’t allow you to try and influence me with lame book recommendations of which I already know I won’t like”.  “Funny bay, I’m wired not to like much of what you do or have to say either,” I said and we both laughed.

“Don’t feel bad mom, the only way I’d like what you offered is if you were playing fun games on the Internet. Then your recommendations would be free flowing and not said with a forced agenda”. He explained to which left me no recourse other than to shake my head in reply.

Forced agenda my a__.


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