For you happyrobot n00bz, if you wanna know who Honkycracker was, there’s a little “archive” tab on the left side. That goes back to 2002. There’s some good stuff there. And I’d say there hasn’t been much good stuff since 2005. And, hell, it’s been a ride.
For those of you who don’t know… I teach nursery school these days. Yeah. I didn’t see that coming either. But I was laid off (as J’s dad said this weekend, for those of you who know my good friend J, “That’s what you do, isn’t it? Get laid off?”) and, well, I subbed for a week at a nursery school.
It kind of snowballed from there.
My first day in the 3 year olds class, one of the kids comes up to me and says “I know you. I saw you yesterday.”
I’m kneeling so that I can hear in my good ear, and she climbs up on me and proceeds to pull off my glasses.
“You know, I need those to see” I say.
She says “But I can’t see you. And I want to see your pretty eyes.”
Kid is three, and she’s already breaking my heart.
Over the course of that week, I find her playing on the toy phone in the classroom, crying.
I ask her what’s going on. She says “Shh! I’m talking to my grandmother in Florida!”
“Are you okay?”
“It's my gramma. She’s going to die.”
I’ve met her grandmother. She might be close to 60. She might be over 60. I don’t know. But she is in no way “close to death”. But her grandmother is the oldest person she knows, and she’s smart enough to know that someone she’s close to is gonna die first.
So we read a book about sea life together , and what Whales eat. And she asks “What happens when Whales die? What eats a Whale?”
Now, as you know, I know my Sea Life. But I had no answer for that. At least not what a 3 year old should hear.
I tried to tell her that I’m gonna turn 32 soon and my Grandmother is 84 years old and could get any teacher in the school to submit in a Mixed Martial Arts fight. But how do you tell a three year old that she’s right, and that person close to her is most likely to be her first experience with death?
Well, you don’t bullshit. You tell her that, yeah, it’s gonna hurt when it happens. But it’s so far off that she’s gonna have so many more years of life experience that when it finally happens, your grandmother is gonna have seen you grow up into the emerging awesome person you can’t help but being.
The other day she and I were hanging out after school while her mom talked to the school director and the other parents who were around. We have a large, heavy door at the school, and as she was leaving I waved to her as it closed. And as it was about to close, she shouted “CHRIS!!!!”
I grabbed the door handle and opened it slightly, saying "Oh yeah? What?"