Thursday, May 28, 2015

Young Packs and Marathons

Helpless: A few days ago, the local private schools held a track meet for all their students. Our first grade class participated, and I was lucky enough to help “chaperone” – which meant, to the best of my abilities, I helped make sure everyone stayed where they were supposed to be and went where they were supposed to go next. Mrs. Rasmussen, the teacher, was very glad that I volunteered. She said, “You get the boys.” That didn’t seem too daunting: there were only seven of the little blighters to take care of and supervise. Just seven – I coached little league, for goodness sakes! I coached soccer! But I was aware of the energy level of these young men; all seven seemed hell bent on being hell bent at all times. They got along with each other fine, but part of getting along was being amazingly physical – pushing, punching and poking each other just for the sheer joy of it. As I watched my own charges charging about, I also glanced whenever possible at the other packs of seven-year-old boys from the other schools, to discover (with both relief and alarm) that they were doing the same things. My boys were not unique in the slightest. And the thought that kept occurring to me was: this is long before the testosterone hits them! I survived. Tired but triumphant, I made it through. The boys participated in six field events, and in their off time between events they played freeze tag and other wonderful games, but at the end of the day, I was the one who felt like I’d just run the marathon.

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