When I was in elementary school, a girl came to school with a patch over one eye. It didn’t give her a pirate’s rakish appeal; she looked like a poster child for not running with sticks. She explained that she had a “lazy eye” and felt self-conscious, but I don’t think any of us other kids did anything other than show curiosity. I secretly thought blue eyes must be weak, but the prettiness of blue was worth some sacrifices.
My classmates and I crowded around the little girl and listened to her explain about her doctor visit and prescribed treatment. It was kind of exciting to the rest of us. We weren’t as worldly, and a trip to the big city for a genetic anomaly was kind of cool. And then we forgot about it. She was a nice girl and we all played with her like we did before we found out about her laziness. The patch was eventually replaced with thick pink glasses, and we all kept playing on the playground, trying to bump each other off the teeter totter or jump from the swing at the highest point or spinning ourselves to puking on the merry-go-round. Life was good at recess.
We had a similar curious huddle around Sandy after she broke her arm on the cement at the bottom of the monkey bars. How did they put the cast on? How long did she have to have it? How were they going to get it off? Eventually each of us got a turn at being the center of attention in the huddle because this was in the days before kids wore helmets and knee pads and the playgrounds had cushioning under the monkey bars.
Kids don’t get enough recess these days, and they don’t get enough free time to play after school either. Getting hurt is part of life, and it’s better to get hurt when you still bounce and heal fast. Instead, kids stare at the tv and computer too much and end up getting glasses too early. It seems like kids are too well behaved these days and therefore less interesting, even to themselves.
I went to dinner with a friend last night who made me laugh so hard that Chinese tea went up my nose and I ended up in a coughing fit. I went to lunch with other friends today, and we laughed about my lawless youth. I almost had another coughing fit, and one of my friends snorted decaffeinated coffee – which resulted in more laughter. Do today’s kids ever laugh that hard? I’m not encouraging law breaking, but c’mon, it is funny, especially when you consider that I’m working for The Church these days. I’ve never been arrested, so you can’t prove anything against me anyway.
Every week I write something for this blog, and after doing this for a while I’m noticing that I’ve actually lived a life. Some of it was tragic, some of it was hysterically funny, but it’s all mine. I want everybody else to feel the same kind of ownership in their lives too. We can’t all be rich or famous or the top in everything – or maybe anything – but we can snort a hot beverage up the nose in laughter. All we have to do is be in the moment, and appreciate our moments.
In dog news… Penny got her stitches out today. Yay!! She’s still a conehead because she’s not allowed to lick her boo boo yet. She’s off her drugs, and now all I have to do is swab her belly with antiseptic 3x/day for the next week. I’ve been calling her “Flower” lately because she looks so sweet with her head popping out of the cone. The vet people love her.