All I can do is watch kids now…. (tf)

Been thinking a lot about kids. And what’s it’s like to be a kid. And what hurts and what heals and what sucks and what’s worth getting totally irrational over and what’s worth blowing off as just one of life’s lessons to be learned…with no grown-up intervention. Being a kid means being scared a lot of the time….not unlike being a grown-up mind you….but grown-ups call fear “making a living”. For kids…..being afraid means literally not wanting to get out of bed. Not wanting to face that locker that you can’t open….or that kid in gym class who pushes you around while everybody else laughs. That kid….a kid will dream of dismembering that kid in gym class….and stuffing him into jelly jars and keeping them in the basement just to make sure he never gets out. But alarm clocks mess-up good dreams, so the bully kid stays very much alive and grows even more sociopathic as the days go by because his Dad is some type of big shot asshole who gives the school money in envelopes. You know, one of societies pillars with the million dollar smile and the morals of a diseased toad.

Yes, I’m afraid a kid is very much an extension of his or her parents. And when you think of all the parents you deal with everyday who are complete neanderthals, ’tis no surprise that so many kids meet the same criteria. And these are the kids your kid has to sit next to in science class. Which is the main reason he’s sticking a hot wash-cloth on his brow hoping it will fool the thermometer into reading 102 so he can stay home.

Being an idiot is not against the law. Nor can idiots be stopped from breeding….which they apparently do with relish. Like rabbits they are, still trusting in the rhythm method and the power of the Sunday collection plate.The arithmetic is ghastly.

Being a kid is just so confusing. Everything has consequences….so immediately any kids with any positive spontaneity or inventive spark built-in end up sitting alone in the cafeteria….while the brown-shirts throw food at them. Teachers don’t much like those who march to their own dance-band either… these kids are the ones who challenge the 40 year old gibberish written on the black-board. It’s truly a special teacher who enjoys give-and-take over text-book dogma with a whip-smart 14 year old with “The Who” and “BoDeans” stickers all over his books…..especially when the same kid is being beaten up daily by the basketball players, whom the teacher adores. Think how many special teachers you had in school. You won’t need 2 hands.

Sometimes I’d like to take another crack at being a kid. I’ve learned so many things. Like when to carry a bat. It would make a huge difference. In a land of hormones…..perception becomes reality….which is why the kid who used to get beat up by boys and laughed at by girls……who is now sneering from a stage with a loud guitar in his hands….has become suddenly untouchable. Well, except for the girls….who suddenly aren’t laughing and now want to touch him a lot.

But I can’t go back, of course. All I can do is watch kids now. And see how music and clothes and slang changes, but not much else. When our kids hurt we hurt….all the more so because we understand how insidious the pain of acceptance really is. How powerful it is to fight both for it and against.

At the end of the movie “Stand by Me”, the Richard Dreyfuss character types this line into his computer….”I never had any friends like the ones I had when I was twelve… Jesus, does anyone?”

It’s a brilliant line, and it may indeed be true.

But you never quite feel so vulnerable either.

I wish there was something we could do to make it not so.

–Tom Flannery

~ by admin on October 7, 2011.

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