It’s the time of year when excitement over the approach of the first day of summer is definitely in the air. Though the June 21st summer solstice here in the Northern hemisphere, might be exciting for Wiccans and Wiccan wannabes, there is one date that has far greater significance in the universal scheme of things for every classroom impounded school kid I know. To them, the first day of summer is their last day of school, and each of them is becoming more and more whirligig-brained with each passing day. It must be the return of the warm spring breezes with their promise of even better days that has them all awhirl with expectation.
Three or four days a week I meet the bus after school at my next door neighbours’ house. Their three children are the last ones off, and despite my motherly admonitions, their book bags which once made it as far as the mat in the mud room are now feverishly pitched at the door step, or kicked just far enough off the gravel driveway not to be run over by their returning parents. They tear off towards their bicycles, within seconds of catapulting off the school bus steps. Their face to face time with me is now limited, unless I choose to hang upside down with them from the monkey bars, or sit across from them in their twirling tractor tire swing. (So, let’s just say it’s limited! )Their calico kitten now claws his way up into a tree almost daily just for some much-needed rest far from the madding crowd; meanwhile, their pet gold fish in his bowl inside the house has only his reflection to keep him company.
The stacks of papers, posters, notes, and forms announcing upcoming school track and field competitions, fun fairs, class excursions, and fund-raising drives that the kids bring home from school, now occupy half the space on their Mom’s desk. It is apparent as the weeks pass, that teachers all over Canada are being swept furiously along like tree branches in a torrent towards their final resting places—the hammock at Lake Kashagawigamog, or the Muskoka chairs at Manitoulin Island. They can only hope and pray that this tumultuous rush of solar-powered kids, in all their sunscreen scented frenzy, can keep them buoyant until they reach the other side of yet another school year!
I know the excitement of little kids always gives me such a lift,( especially at the corners of my mouth) when they tell me of the grand adventures they have planned, with that sweet combination of naivety and enthusiasm that can still be found in the under ten set. It makes me want a big summer adventure of my own some time soon, maybe something a little risky, one with no reservations!
The following poem I wrote in remembrance of a few teachers I had who struggled a lot with the boys in their classes, the boys who were definitely so full of beans that Boston couldn’t hold a candle to them—or probably shouldn’t!
What Came Out Of The Teacher’s Desk?
What came out of the teacher’s desk?
The rules from the game of Pirates’ Quest,
A voodoo doll and a crochet hook,
Twelve hockey cards, and a game of Rook,
Four jelly worms, and a rubber frog,
A steering wheel, and a pink stuffed dog,
Fly sticker paper, and a box of tacks,
Big red lips made out of wax,
Thirteen notes from angry mums,
A fountain pen and a roll of Tums,
A mean cartoon of a lipsticked goat,
A velvet rose and a Thank You note,
A pair of pants with elastic waist,
Five little bottles of hardened paste,
Two gum balls as hard as rocks,
A coloured poster of chicken pox,
A four- roll package of toilet paper,
A giant comb, and a big black stapler,
The metal leg off a broken table,
A jar with skull and bones on the label,
A splintered broken baseball bat,
A rubber raft, all folded flat,
With a tag on the side that said “PULL HERE“
“Oh! No! Is that high heels I hear?
Clomping and clattering down the hall?
No one’s supposed to be here at all!
You said they’d all be out in the yard!”