a fat sol-shiner

A Fat Sol-Shiner

My mom, who has dedicated her entire life to teaching children (mother, teacher, school principal) sent me an email with only the following comment: “They`re getting to you, aren`t they? The kids.”

Let`s think about that question….

This weekend as I strolled into one of my local hang-and-drink-beer-outs, I spied a friend amongst a group of people I didn`t know. Upon catching his eye, it was not ´till after I had my tongue out, my eyes sqeezed shut tight, and my thumbs sticking out of my ears with my fingers waving wildly, did I realize I had adopted a new, um….”manner” of greeting my friends at social activities. After the strange looks (and introductions), I tried to explain myself….”I`m sorry…you see, I`ve been spending all my time with 8 year-olds and….”

Yesterday, while trying to simultaneously play hacky-sack and a game of head-ball, a received a kid-to-the-eye *kinda like a punch-to-the-head, but with a kid to my eye*. And guess what I have to show for it! My VERY first black eye! I wear my shiner with pride, and my fabricated tales of domestic abuse, roommate fights and brawl breakups has so far prompted at least one, “I´ll kill the person who did this to you!”. Good fun.

Kids are incredible. They jump up and down when they are excited and tell you to your face when you suck. When they feel the urge to stand on their head, they stand on their head. When they hear music, they move their bodies. When they need to pick their nose, they dig away. Their emotions are so true. Their curiosity so wide. Their energy so unrelenting. Their concentration so intense. Their feelings so severe. Their imagination so unlimited. Their wrists so small that I may hold them both together with one hand to effortlessly administer tickle-torture. But really….THIS is company I sincerely enjoy. People who say and do what they want and need, when they need and want it. Each day I find myself modeling more THEIR role. And more than these lessons, of clear communication and the practice of immagination, have they stepped up the chalk board and taught me…

So, YES, Mom, as much as I STILL hate to admit it when you`re right, the kids ARE — socially, physically, psychologically, and what ever other “ally”s out there applicable — definitely getting to me.

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