Perfect and Organic · 5 September 2010

My wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, likes to brainwash our kids. Or at least that must be what she is doing. They all think that she is perfect.

Okay. I must admit that she is pretty good, but perfect? Only a child could think that about his or her parent. And my kids seem to think that their mother is perfect. Then again, maybe it is just the age. After all, our youngest, Thing 3, is only 9 and he is the one who still thinks that his mother is perfect. I have a theory (besides or in addition to brainwashing) as to why he still thinks she is perfect. That is that he just does not know what the word means.

In support of this theory, I just need to look at the last conversation when the idea of the mother being perfect came up. We were in the car when Thing 3 declared, “Mom is perfect. And she’s organic!” Of course, my wife and I stifled a laugh at this statement, but it puzzled me somewhat. The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi does a good job of feeding our family healthy food, but she does not get organic food very often. Nor do we grow very much of our own food.

While the food that we do grow, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, and a few herbs, could probably be considered organic, other growing things in our yard are not cared for very organically. The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi subscribes to the notion that the best way to keep the lawn green and the gardens free from weeds and pests is to use chemicals. We do not use lots of chemicals, but using any definitely puts us out of the organic category.

(I once thought that just living in the Seattle area has made us a bit granola and thus somewhat organic. After all, we seem to recycle everything. And even though we have a fairly large lawn space, we have lots of flower beds and other landscaping that needs little water or other care. Both my wife and I have Birkenstocks and wear them in the warmer months. So we could probably at least be seen as somewhat granola. However, I think our lawn’s chemical dependence might be shunned in the granola community and surely would be in the organic community.)

When I heard Thing 3 say that his mother was organic, I had all those thoughts as faint glimmers in my mind (fleshed out here for those who are not privy to my brain’s inner workings). I figured that first of all, he must be a little precocious knowing what the word “organic” meant. And secondly, he must be very observant to see that his mother followed or tried to follow an organic lifestyle. As I said, both my wife and I laughed a little when our son declared so knowingly, “And she’s organic!” Then, we heard the rest of his sentence after what seemed like a slight pause.

If Thing 3 really did pause for a moment, he might have thought the small amount of stifled laughter meant he needed to explain. In reality, he was just continuing his thought when he said emphatically, “She’s from Oregon.” The laughter began in earnest after that. I am sure he was proud of his declaration and of his solid vocabulary.

After thinking about it a little, our son’s definition certainly did sound good. I still thought that he might be a little precocious with his conclusion that organic meant “from Oregon.” It almost fit. After all, it does seem that being from the Northwest might indeed make a person a bit organic in thought process if not completely in deed and lifestyle. But unbeknownst to our son, being from Oregon does not necessarily mean that a person is organic.

While my wife and kids like to make up words, or at least use them in new and unique ways, the declaration of Mom being perfect and organic was not an instance of this behavior. He just reasoned it out that organic sounds like Oregon and so should mean “from Oregon.” Someday, when he finds out the real meaning of the word, I am sure he will think his just as good and want dictionary writers to use his definition as one of the possible meanings (if not the first meaning) of the word “organic.”

When all is said and done, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi is indeed from Oregon even if she is not all that organic. And even if my son has been brainwashed by his mom to think so, she is close to perfect. In my book as well as his.

© 2010 Michael T. Miyoshi

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