Wednesday, September 01, 2010

among school children

it was open house at nicholas's new school tonight. we met his teacher and there was a bbq for the new students and their parents. what a trip. nicholas is now 5 years old and will be starting kindergarten next tuesday. that blows my mind. nick is no longer our baby but is now a growing boy, still a child, but a person who is beginning those very first steps toward a kind of independence and life outside of, well, my ken. i mean, don't get me wrong, nick still needs us big time, but if i remember my own school years at all i do remember a piece of kiddom well outside my parents' orbit. so there we were, anna and me, listening to nick's teacher fill us in with all sorts of administrative details, sitting on the floor and staring at the contents of the classroom with its posters of numbers and letters and rules and such. nick's classroom is the same one anna attended. me, i was never a good student, always anxious, socially retarded, and shyer than lon chaney as the phantom of the opera. yet, there i sat among these schoolchildren and their parents and thought of yeats' famous poem and tho i was probably much older than most of the parents of nick's classmates -- my hair is nearly all grey and even if i feel like i'm 25 i sure don't look like it. e.g. we passed our old alma mater on the way home and classes started this week. a lot has changed on campus, more development, a bigger football stadium cum track&field, a larger bookstore, i said to anna i should some day check out the old school, go to the library, look around. the library was my favorite place and i logged more hours there than any in a classroom. anna turned to me and said, do you know how you look? you certainly don't look like a student, you'll look like a creepy old man hanging around, or if your lucky maybe be mistaken by the students as a lost, and bewildered professor. well, then, there you go. i sat among these schoolchildren not as a 'sixty-year-old smiling public man,' but as the father of a young son who is starting on a long school career and as i watched these kids bounce and dance around their new teacher i wondered,

o body swayed to music, o brightening glance,
how can we know the dancer from the dance?


At 7:34 AM, Blogger Closely Observed Train Stations said...

Our friends' kid started school the other day, too. As a good auntie and uncle (in the CR anyone really old is your auntie or uncle, if not a parent, grandparent or teacher) we gave the kid a watch. The band was bright orange and too large for her little wrist - I think the image was more O'Hara than Yeats.

At 10:32 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

yeats might've appreciated the whisp of the wrist of a young girl with an enormous watch. after all, 'among school children' addresses the old man's long time muse, maud gonne, as a schoolgirl.

it's a trip, ryan, this life, this journey and the children of our lives.


Post a Comment

<< Home