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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Like Adults But Smaller and More Anti-Social

The other day my girlfriend and I picked up her children from their school. School itself isn’t what it used to be. Alexandra and Raymond are now taught by Chinese women who wag their fingers at the little people if they speak to them in any language other than Chinese. The flags of many nations hang in the halls, and end of the day traffic jams around elementary schools have become routine for parents who don’t want to wait an hour for the school bus to take their children across town. In this town, gone are the days of neighborhood elementary schools. The human organism seems to be experiencing more cell division, getting a little more complicated every year, and yet, you can take comfort from knowing that your children, who are adorable, who are gifts from God, are still more than likely little rude beasts!

  This particular instance is as endearing as it illustrative of my central assertion. As you may remember, in elementary school, you became the center of attention when your parent/s came to pick you up. All eyes were on you as an adult came to remove you from the school’s jurisdiction while everyone else had to mind the teacher or wait for the school bus. As my girlfriend and I walked into the classroom where her children were waiting, we saw many little heads and wide eyes staring up at us, with such awe and curiosity that I have to assume they weren’t reacting to my girth and ugliness exclusively. The hugs that lift spirits and make days were forthcoming from the familiar children. They are lovable forever, but only for moments at a time.  Then, the other little faces began to query the children in question.

“Alexandra, is that your Dad?” 

  “No!” both children shouted.

It wasn’t that the question was nosy. In this day and age, the kids don’t necessarily understand and aren’t really bothered by the family situation. No, the breach had occurred because their moment of attention had been interrupted by a ridiculous question! Alexandra clarified with the candor only granted to children, “My dad is bald, and that would look terrible on him!” My own receding hairline quivered in reaction to this statement.

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