solar system team work

Getting started first thing in the morning can be interesting around our house. When there is a school project or two underway this can certainly be the case. Yesterday morning, as I walked out of my bedroom I heard my eleven year old son yell "Bring it back!" Tork, my family's beloved Yorkie, was flying down the hall with a florescent orange object in his mouth. The destination? My bed, of course! I quickly scooped up Tork from my bed and started prying what appeared to be a spray-painted styrofoam ball from his tightly gripped jaws. Instantaneously my bedroom was the hub of confusion. Jeremy came running in followed by his big sister Tara. They were carrying an assortment of styrofoam balls, balls of string, and Tara's black light from her bedroom. "What in the world is going on"? I demanded. Jeremy quickly informed me that Tork had destroyed his model solar system and the project was due that day! He was almost in tears. Even more interestingly, so was Tara! It turns out my normally standoffish cooler-than-though teenager had been up most of the night helping Jeremy complete his project. It had taken Tork only seconds to undo all of their hard work. I immediately realized that if there is any family situation where teamwork is demanded, this is one. I herded the children downstairs where we spread out the remainder of the project and assessed the damage. All was well except that everything had been detached from everything else and the moon was missing from the collection of planets. Disturbingly, Jeremy informed me that he had used up all of his supplies and there was nothing left to recreate the moon. Looking at the damage left on the one ball, I recognized an undeniable resemblance to the moon's craters. A quick trip to the garage, a couple of cans of my husband's spray paint, and a Sharpie marker later, and that planet was successfully transformed into the moon. All the time Tara and Jeremy were busy reattaching each ball to the mobile they had fabricated the night before from coat hanger wire and string. All that remained was replacing the missing ball. "Why not a tennis ball"? I asked. The kids simultaneously assured me I was brilliant. "After all", they said. "Who will care if the planet is florescent green instead of florescent orange"? Sometimes my kids and, yes, even my pets amaze me. Now, if the brilliant product of our collective efforts can just survive the school bus ride to Jeremy's school.

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