with the return of the school year
comes the return of our outdoor adventure days.
“we could have never loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it.”
“crack the whip’ sculpture – sunset hills, flint, mi
j. seward johnson, sculptor
being the youngest in our neighborhood gang
i was often the smallest
finding myself on the end of ‘the whip’ during this game
sometimes it felt like i was flying
and highly likely that i was.
“being smart as a whip means knowing when not to crack it’
when you mix a scientist who loves dinos along with little people who also love dinos
you get bursts of curiosity, awe, and excitement on both sides
especially when one the of the kinder mentioned
it was ‘from the jurrasic period’ and another asked if it was ‘an omnivore.’
“did you know that the stegosaurus lived further away from the t-rex than we are from the t-rex in time?”
the little ones came to school
most for the first time ever
filling our room with emotion and energy
a few minutes into our day
one had me write
an urgent note to her mom
“bring the car!”
we’re all tired and mostly all happy
tomorrow we begin again.
“be willing to be a beginner every single morning.”
one of my favorite things
is to go to school shows
i love every kind of kid up there
hiding in back
staring straight ahead
belting it out
faking the lyrics
wearing mismatched shoes
in a fancy outfit
whispering to a stage neighbor
giving it their all
waving to family
have their own rhythm different from the rest
playing anything that makes a musical sound
any kind of talent show
costumed or not.
i am all in.
“sometimes I was in school plays,
but only when the kid they’d originally picked got sick and they asked me to substitute.”
“i remember acting in a school play about the melting pot when I was very little.
there was a great big pot onstage.
on the other side of the pot was a little girl who had dark hair,
and she and i were representing the italians.
and i thought: is that what an italian looked like?”
“i did a school play when I was 10 where I played a cold germ infecting a whole classroom of kids.
the play was called ‘Piffle It’s Only a Sniffle.’
i’d never had so much fun. It was a thrill.”
back in time on a summer’s day
when your parents thought
you and your friends of all ages
were just pedaling around the block for hours
but in that time you really
explored abandoned houses and those still under construction
built your own underground fort
jumped in the mud to see if it was quicksand
left your socks behind
met a new kid
balanced on a a board going over the water to get to the other side
found a golf ball
explored the gravel pit
rolled down a hill backwards
shared snacks that fell in the dirt
had the best day ever
every single day.
“keep your children wild, don’t make them grow up too fast.”
– brooke hampton