Sunday, February 23, 2020

Life Without Children

I’m noticing that my tolerance for injustice, ignorance and just plain bad news (is there any other kind these days?) is lower than usual these days. Hope is waning and despair is growing and I think I just figured out why.

Except for one delightful day teaching kids in Singapore, I’ve been three weeks away from young children. I’m just beginning to realize how much they keep me alive, alert and full of optimism for the human condition. Yes, their extremes of constant motion and explosive screams and squeals and pee-pee and poo-poo jokes can wear one down a bit, but even the worst pee-pee joke is a thousand times better than any Trump tweet. (Or a pee-pee tape.)Their energy, expressiveness, humor, curiosity, honesty, fascinating perspectives, open faces, loving hearts greeting me every day makes me happy and feeds my faith in human possibility.

Since I’m about to retire from that daily encounter, this is a bit worrisome. Of course, I can sub at schools and visit the grandchildren, but I worry about my state of being away from children for too long, especially in an election year! Maybe there’s a “rent-a-child” program I can contact. 

And speaking of children and elections, how fantastic would it be for the upcoming Presidential debates to include questions and answers with children! One each with 5-year olds, 9-year olds, 13-year olds, 17-year olds. Anyone thinking of that? Of course not!! But wouldn’t we learn so much as candidates tried to smooth-talk their way through truly provocative questions and the kids would hold them accountable for their piss-poor answers? Anyone on board?

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