April's Real Blog

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Michael and Moral Relativism

Uch, mayB if we R v. v. good, we will get in2 present-day stories this coming week, eh? Meanwhile, Mike has more 2 share from the boring past:

Formerly little sis. I was in the middle of my writing today, when my children came into my sacred writing area of retreat and asked me a question. Normally, if they do this and they are not obviously bleeding, I ignore them until they go away. However, on this occasion they were asking a question of moral importance, so I decided it was important to stop my writing to listen to their question. I said, “What is your question again?” My daughter said, “For the 10th time Daddy, Gramma Elly took a case of food out of the back of Mr. Singh’s store and she didn’t pay for it. Isn’t that wrong?”

I said, “I want you to know that you can’t go taking food from someone’s store—it’s very wrong. However, in the case of Mr. Singh’s store, there are few good reasons why we can take from there. First of all, we’ve taken food from Mr. Singh’s store before.” My kids said, “We did?” And then I regaled my kids with the story about your taking food from Mr. Singh when you were younger and how you eventually paid him back, so it was all right you took the food in the first place. I would say more about this story, but it did not happen in 1979.

I said, “Second of all, there are many people who are going to make contributions to your Auntie Elizabeth and future Uncle Anthony’s wedding. What you saw was probably your Gramma Elly taking food for the wedding.”

Then I continued, “In fact, children, I have a story from 1979 when I learned all about this.” My children groaned, and this is the story I told them:

Once when I was little, we had a neighbour named Mrs. Baird. She had a garden of prize-winning flowers. One day when my mom, your Gramma Elly, was not feeling good, I picked some of the flowers to give to her to make her feel better. She said, “Flowers! –Thank you, Michael!—Where did you find them?” I said, “Well, I sort of …er…got them from Mrs. Baird’s place.” I think mom thought I might have gotten them from some public park or a botanical garden or something like that. She said to me, “You can’t go taking flowers from people’s gardens, Honey---It’s very wrong. You must NEVER do it again! But if you do---try and leave on the stem.” I said to my kids, "Do you understand the meaning behind my story from 1979?"

My son said, “Don’t eat stem!” My daughter said, “It’s OK to steal!! Yay!!” I said, “No! No! No! Mrs. Baird had given us flowers before for me to give to Gramma Elly when she wasn’t feeling good. That’s why Gramma Elly knew it was OK for me to do it again.” My daughter said, “You left that part out.” I said, “Goodness. Read between the lines.” My daughter said, “OK. Gramma Elly got pastries for Auntie Liz’s wedding. Yay!!” My son went “Yay! Pastries!!” also.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell morality stories to young children.

Michael Patterson
Esp. when the stories lack morality!

Jeremy, I got yr txt message and I can def. help U and yr mom 2day. What time do U want me 2 come over?


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  • At 12:52 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, fun 2day replantin’ flowers. 4 sum strange reasn my mom’s flowers keep disappearin’ frum her garden. & 4 sum strange reasn she thinks it’s appropriate a patterson shud help replant them. she sed she got the idea frum connie poirier, who sum how managed 2 convince ur mom 2 help her replant her garden. mom sez it wuz payback 4 years of thievery.

    i wuz gonna b kinda insulted mom wuz sayin’ this stuff, ‘till ur bro told his story this mornin’. i cudn’t b-lieve ur mom sed that stuff 2 ur bro wen he wuz little. i cud tell u were mbarrassed by it 2. i mean u actually sed, “do u still luv me?” like if the stuff ur fam did cud evah stop that. cheeze i tried 2 run u down on my bicycle & u still came 2 visit me in hospital. wut r a couple of flowers compared 2 that? i do still luv u. & i also think ur rilly cute w/a little dirt on ur face.

    so, aftah we finish this, then it’s off 2 the vet clinic 2 spend a little tyme takin’ care of the animalz stayin’ ovah the weekend. it’s only fair i help u, since u helped my mom.

    i luv u.

  • At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anne Nichols said…


    Rumour has it that we have finally found the identity of the neighbourhood flower thief and the reason why the flowers from my garden often have shown up in a vase on your mother’s kitchen table. Your mother says that she has told you that you can’t go taking flowers from people’s gardens, but if you do, she doesn’t see any reason not to put them in a vase, since they have already been picked. After you are done replanting flowers over at Mrs. Jones house, I have a little gardening for you too.

    Anne Nichols

  • At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Carol Enjo said…


    Supposedly you bear me some sort of resentment for not having a child your age to play with, as I did for your older brother and sister with my son Brian and daughter Dawn. Supposedly you have taken this frustration out on my garden, and this is the reason my flowers have sometimes disappeared. Supposedly this is something a “teenangster” is known for doing. After you have finished with Mrs. Nichols’ garden, I have a few gardening chores for you also.

    Carol Enjo

  • At 1:29 PM, Anonymous krystle mcguire said…


    I know you and my daughter, Becky haven’t gotten along well for awhile, but I never thought you would take it out on my garden. I thought it was just my landscaper trying to get repeat business, when my flowers would disappear, but I now I find out it’s you, acting out of frustration because Becky dropped out of your band 3 years ago and turned into a pop music star. I would try to get you to pay my landscaping bill, but everyone knows getting money out of a Patterson is like trying to get blood out of a stone. I will accept an apology, after you are finished repairing the other people’s gardens.

    Krystle McGuire

  • At 1:30 PM, Anonymous tracey mayes said…


    I got the strangest call today and frankly I can’t believe it is true, except the information came from a very reliable source. Of course, since your parents have invested in Gordon’s business and we owe everything we have to them, our house is your house. But honestly, if you really need flowers, let me take you to a florist to get them, instead of removing them from our garden.

    Tracey Mayes

  • At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Beatrice Alfarero said…


    Thanks for the call. I know you haven’t been taking flowers from my garden. I’m sending Howard and the girls out to help you plant for my neighbours. Howard thinks it will be good for the girls to learn gardening and about hypocritical parents.

    Beatrice Alfarero

  • At 1:39 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    omg, where have all these ppl gotten the idea that i have been on sum neighbourhood garden-damaging rampage? i have never in my life touched ne of these gardens. who is the "source" spreading these lies abt me?

    jeremy and i r @ the vet clinic. we'll b here 4 abt another 1/2 hr and then we're gonna talk 2 ppl abt their gardens and find out who is spreading lies abt me.


    p.s. i luv u, 2, jeremy!

  • At 2:21 PM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, ok. found the "source" spreading these lies abt u & of course can't do nethin' 'bout it. @least howard & hiz daughters r out here w/us. not rilly the way i xxpected 2 spend saturday w/u, but thass ok. @least i get 2 spend tyme w/u & u look rilly good w/ur hair down, evn if ur fingerz r caked w/dirt & animal stuff. az long az i am w/u i don't care much, if ur dirty. i know i look worse.

    howard’s daughter maría iz funny w/the, “this is good xxperience. all mboro women luv 2 plant gardens. i am gonna have the best flowers wen i get married 2 paul mayes. paul iz so dreamy.” she’z funny & so much like i remembah 11-year-old girlz frum wen i wuz 11.

    & his othah daughter ana asked, “iz this wut happs wen ur bf is a villain, like jeremy is?” i liked ur answer, “no. this iz wut happs wen a mom duzn’t tell her son 2 go ovah 2 the neighbour’s house & apologize 4 stealin’ flowerz & then duzn’t take the flowerz he stole & put them in a vase 4 decoration & ask him 2 get flowers w/stemz on them the next tyme. thass practically like tellin’ the son it’s all right 2 take othah peeps’ flowerz. &then duzn't stop it wen it keeps happenin' evn wen the son iz in his 30s, cuz she likes the flowers. & then wen sum1 writez a story ‘bout it in ur blog & peeps read it, it’s wen the mom duzn’t confess thass wut she did, but blamez her daughter 4 it, so she can get her daughter outa the house 4 a long tyme fixin’ othah peeps’ gardens, so she can use her daughter’s new clawfoot tub in her room 4 a bubble bath.”

    & ana sed, “well, i wuz thinkin’ ‘bout a villain 4 a bf & i just thot it mite b rel8ed.” & u sed, “y a villain?” &and she sed, “cuz i am 13 & all the ‘good’ boys r pre-engaged. only the villainz r left.” & u sed, “a villain makes a gr8 bf. the ‘good’ boyz can’t evn tell their gf she iz pretty or they luv them.” & then u & ana hadda talk 'bout guyz in mboro.

    then howard came ovah w/homemade butter tarts 4 the garden workers (usin’ a vegan butter substitute just 4u) & i felt a lot bettah. especially wen he wudn’t let anne nichols have ne, cuz we were workin’ on her garden & cuz howard sez anne just wants 2 steal his recipe.

    it's been weird, but it's been w/u. i luv u. & i think i am rilly lookin' 4ward 2 givin' sum1 a bath 2nite. a rilly thorough bath, if u know wut i mean.

  • At 2:32 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    the sitch we r in rite now is lousy, but jeremy, howard, maria, and ana r making it kinda fun. it's frustr8ing that we can't do nething abt the "source" that spread the vicious lies abt me. jeremy and howard have been v. v. good abt setting the record str8 as we go from one garden 2 another.

    howard's earth-balance margarine tarts r sooooo good!

    that bath is gonna b awesum, i just know it!!!


  • At 6:01 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. I don't mean to be an alarmist, but mom said that when she was taking a bubble bath today, she saw a ghost, hovering above her make tsk-tsk noises about how a mother should treat her daughter, and how a mother should instruct her son about the neighbour's flowers.

    I am not sure, but judging from Mom's expression she is feeling a feeling she has not felt in a long time -- Guilt. I think Mom may be a little sick.

    If you see any ghosts and they try to make you feel guilt, you should probably try to hide or run away.

    That's all,
    Michael Patterson


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