A Fourth Grade Rap

Spring brings the school talent show, when kids get to show off their skills not usually celebrated in the classroom. It is always surprising and delightful. This year, our fourth grader was on a mission. First, he came home upset that he didn’t have someone with whom to perform. “Everyone is already doing something with someone!”

I emailed the teachers asking if anyone else was still available. Apparently, no one had yet signed up. Everyone was fair game.

The next day, he came home smiling, “I know what I’m doing for the talent show! A comedy show about how much school sucks.” Still smiling, but not a joke.

Train wreck coming!

So, with a cup of coffee in hand, I dashed off A Fourth Grade Rap just in case I could sway him.

Hmmmm. “Mom… it’s just… I guess some of it’s good.”

So after editing my work and adding a verse, he gave the okay to send it to a few of his friends’ moms in a recruitment effort. “Anyone up for doing a talent show rap?”

Two pair of cool shades, a backwards baseball cap, and two rehearsals later, we had ourselves a hit.

Fourth grade is cool. The kids are really funny.                                                                           But you gotta learn your skills if you want to make money.

Remember when Mr. B fell off the boat?                                                                                    The water was cold. He wished he had his coat.

Tuesdays rock if you go to Homework Club.                                                                               Ms. Grant gives out gum, and gets the big DUB.

We practice our fractions on IXL.                                                                                                   We copy eight words until we can spell.

Fourth grade is cool. The kids are really funny.                                                                           But you gotta learn your skills if you want to make money.

We know our state capitals, north to south.                                                                              And we’ve learned it’s bad to have a big mouth.

Did you find your fiftieth license plate?                                                                                Getting Puerto Rico was really great!

What did you make for our African feast?                                                                                Your Invention Convention idea was beast!

Fourth grade is cool. The kids are really funny.                                                                            But you gotta learn your skills if you want to make money.

We play Danish Rounders and Seven Up.                                                                                Guess what, mom, today my pin got moved up!

We read Ranger’s Apprentice, Holes, and The Cay,                                                                 Filled out our Reading Logs every day.

We have the best teachers in the U.S.                                                                                       We’re sorry recess was sometimes a mess.

The kids are really funny. Fourth grade is so cool.                                                                       We have the greatest grade in the whole school.

I mean, let’s get real. Which grade is better?                                                                              Just consider this our thank you letter.

Thank you soooo much Ms. Grant and Mister B.                                                                    Fourth grade has been an awesome year for me.

We hope fifth grade will be this super cool.                                                                            We’re almost ready to rule Lower School!

When a Little Boy Listens

His window was open on the way home from school. He blinked sleepily, heavy lids, and leaned his head against the side of the car, looking out.

“Do you know what sound I like in the world, Mom?”


“When there’s a little wind and the leaves are rustling together, and you’re driving by with the window open.”

Stand Up

I saw Chris Stapleton at Red Rocks last night. The sky was clear. The city lights twinkled at us from below the rocks. He played all four songs I know. And Peyton Manning joined him on stage to sing “Tennessee Whiskey.” Plus, he has the most creative intro of band members I’ve ever heard, which makes him really likable.

I just want to know why people feel the need to bug you if you sit down to listen to the music. Like you’re making them uncomfortable.

Christ Stapleton’s music is mellow. His low voice and the acoustics at Red Rocks are impressive. But seriously, I can only sway for so long.

And just to impress the stander-uppers – because if you don’t, they feel the need to nag you – why do you have to stay on your feet until midnight with thoughts of “my-back-aches, wow-that-guy-is-really-drunk, and please-play-faster-I-have-to-get-up-at-5am” running through your head?

Although it may not look it to the stander-uppers, it is way “cooler” to sit and appreciate the awesome guitar playing, listen to the story-telling that is country music, watch a hawk soar above the rocks, and identify the constellations on a crisp, cool night in May.

Battle of the Bands

Kids doing the dishes. Blasting music from an iPhone. Rocking to “All the Above.” Maino.

Dad enters. His iPhone overwhelms the airwaves with country. “Let Me See You Girl.”

Dishwashers switch it. “Hall of Fame.”

Dad. “May We All.” Country.

“Dad!” Kid dishwashers walk out. A labor strike.

Dad finishes the dishes, singing country alone. “Tennessee Whiskey.”

The seventh grader re-enters. Dishes are done. “This is terrible, Dad. You need to listen to real music.”

Dad acquiesces. “Closer.’ Chain Smokers.

The boys are back. Peace reigns.

Music in the Car

With family arriving to celebrate Christmas in a few days.

I rarely have music playing in my car. The combination of three boys talking over each other and loud lyrics is enough to make me crazy.

But the other day, I needed some music. With no knowledge of radio station numbers, I pressed “Seek” until I found a classical station. Turned up the volume.

When my fourteen year old got in the car after school, he immediately noticed. “Are you getting the car ready for Grandpop?”

Nope, but Grandpop would love that you thought so.

Third Grade Interpretation of the Strumbellas

“I got guns in my head and they won’t go. Spirits in my head and they won’t go.”

Tonight, while his older brothers were doing the dishes to music, our third grader was thinking hard about lyrics playing by the Strumbellas. He doesn’t know it, but the album is entitled “Hope.”

“This song is about Abraham Lincoln,” he said.


“He wanted to end slavery, but really wanted for everyone to just get along. You know? The guns in his head wouldn’t go. And the spirits of all those soldiers.”

“I’ll be a dreamer ‘til the day I die.”

“And Lincoln,” my husband added, “was a dreamer.”

“Yeah, and the guns wouldn’t go. Get it?”

Not when I was in third grade!

Baseball and the Basement Band

My six year old is a busy guy. After a quick homework drawing to represent, “we are painting 2 red birds”, he convinced me to pitch baseballs to him, so he can practice hitting before his kindergarten team starts practice in a few weeks.

Still in February, our three innings were played in freezing temperatures, me the only one wearing a jacket. So we came inside to warm up.

The discordant sounds of his brothers practicing their instruments drifted up the basement stairs, and he took off, shouting over his shoulder, “I gotta go to band practice!”

Seconds later, his bleating vuvuzela drowned out Piano Man by our eleven year old pianist and Seven Nation Army simultaneously picked by our ten year old on his electric guitar.

I was later informed that they are working together on a fusion of pop, hip-hop and rock n’ roll.

But he really wants to play drums.