Ars Gratia Artis

(scene opens in dining room)

Me: (slowly and carefully assembling flower pieces)

Beta: (enters from kitchen) Those are really pretty mom. Can I pick one up?

Me: (abstractly) Sure. Be careful.

Beta: Now what are you going to do with them?

Me: (sighs) I don’t know.

Beta: Something else to lay around the house and gather dust?

Me: (reprovingly) Maybe. Not all art is profitable. Sometimes we do it anyway. Because we can. It makes the world a prettier place.

At What Cost

(Scene opens in mini-van, three of four children at top volume)

Husband: (pulls three dollars from his pocket) Okay! Hear this! I have a dollar for everyone who can keep their mouth shut until we get home!

Beta: Ok.

Husband: (drops one dollar) Beta’s out.

Beta: (outraged) …what! Wait! WAIT !THAT’S NOT FAIR I WAS JUST ACKNOWLEDGING I HEARD YOU! (proceeds to complain for the next twenty five miles)

Gamma: (hums to herself)

Delta: (stone silent)

Me: (laughs silently for the next thirty miles, pulling a rib muscle)

That’s not how any of it works

(scene opens in parlor sweatshop)

Gamma: Mom, how much money do you have?
Me: (tracing out patterns) Not a lot. Why?
Gamma: Well, maybe you and daddy and I could put all our money together and buy a foster child so I can have a sister.
Me: (stops tracing) That’s not how it works, sweetie.
Gamma: But I need a sister. I’m all alone in this house with all these boys. Don’t you want me to have a sister and a friend?