Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Echo of Summer

Sometimes school is just huge, tangled pile.

When you think of school, say elementary school, do you think of neat rows of desks, kids filing down the hall in order, pencils with the names of their owners printed neatly on, and a tidy little box of crayons smelling like the first day of school? I might say the teachers' glimpse would say hers is a day that is a pile, as well.

But let me say it again. Somedays school, it's just a fantastic tangled pile of kids, apple slices, books, paper, frustration, pencils without erasers, explantations, noise & numbers. It's not neat. Hardly ever, ever does our lesson go according to plan when the phone rings three times in the middle of a book and paper cuts and strewn out bandaids sit in a puddle on the floor next to the table and little boys stand on their heads because that's what little boys like to do during math.

Meanwhile the sun is screaming in the windows and the middle one hears it beckoning the most loudly and pleads to go out and discover something that waits and calls to him over even the school. So after 20 more "please put all four on the floor, son" and 12 times of practicing my lamaze that never came in too handy until today I say;

"Okay" and I scoop up the books in a big pile and grab my Handbook of Nature Study, a towel, a camera. Some water and sunscreen and a long, long leash for my doggie and I. I slip on my salt water sandals because they work in the river water too.

We drive to the river bank and kick off shoes and run full force down, down to the water where the river has been waiting. The boys run and kick and push their whole bodies down into the water.
The water washes away all the silliness & antsy-ness that comes from too much recirculated air. We spy a snake and capture him for an attempt at identification. The boys choose their favorite rock and then leave it right where they found it, or toss it as far as they can to be swept downstream. I open that big fat book and read about garter snakes and water snakes. The boys dig holes and pile rocks while we determine that this snake is a water loving garter snake. The river, oh it's cool on my feet and ankles and I wish I could stay all day.

But there is still work to be done at home. Lunch break, for little boys who must complete their job of school work because this is their job while they are young. So now it's back to the table and books and end-of-summer-sighs. Back to the pile.

But we will keep our ears open wide for the call of the river again....

1 comment:

Debi said...

Our school is often 'one huge tangled pile' too.
Well put! :) Great post.