September 29, 2012
Though it was done on impulse, I was aware of the irony of it as soon as I had begun shouting “Freedom!” during my mad dash through the back yard. We were playing the most normal sort of childhood games: “Capture the Flag.” Only it lost a bit of its normalcy; we were thoroughly involved in, and enjoying it, but I kept feeling the strangeness of it here, now.
At one point the children’s mother poked her head out the back door and, visibly relieved, commented, “Oh, it’s just a game.” The 2 boys had been in jail with me and were calling out for help. I had almost told them not to call out, actually, but had reconsidered. For one, I thought, this was non-teacher time: the last thing the kids needed was for their library teacher to be “Shushing” them at their own home, on a Friday night. Secondly, I had displayed my own fair share of goofiness, so it would have been a bit hypocritical for me to call them out on it. And finally, I was quite simply relishing the joy of child-like pleasures while we played.
I also braved the same slide that had re-fractured my foot back in the spring. A bit reckless of me, perhaps. But sometimes a little bit of recklessness is healthy, I think . . . necessary at certain times in any given life.
One more note of the day [no pun intended]: as she checked out her library book, one of the 2nd graders asked me if she could write a note on my stick note pad. Sure, I said. Later, as I looked at what she had written, I smiled and thought Me too. “I love your Mama” is what she wrote :-)