Friday, August 6, 2010
My Day with Kids
I had a series of interesting interactions with kids today. My first was with James this morning when I had to point out the pile of old (and I do mean old) ice pop wrappers hidden between the front flap of the couch in the family room. Yes, you read that right. The front bottom "fringe" of the couch had apparantly split, creating a pocket. This became the repository for the empty wrappers. Now this would not be a big deal if not for the fact that I filled a plastic grocery bag with empty ice pop wrappers last Friday--from behind the video game console, under the computer table, on top of the computer table, under the table cloth of the end table, between the cushions of the love seat, under the couch...you get the idea. Imagine my surprise when I stepped to pick up the remote from the floor and stepped on another pile of wrappers! Of course, the best part was when I asked him what why he thought that was a good place to discard his wrappers. His response: (insert silence here). Yup, nothing. It was going to be a long day.
Then, at the youth service agency I run, I overheard one of the kids calling someone else a homo. Oh boy. After we got through the denial and evasiveness, and a discussion on the 2 definitions for the word "gay," he agreed that he used the word in a hurtful way. When I told him that I'm gay and that what he said hurt my feelings, he seemd genuinely bothered.
Next, one of the 6 girls we chose to attend a week-long basketball camp for girls run by a former professional women's basketball player and olympic gold medalist came in to see me. She wanted to me she had been chosen MVP for her team at camp, show me her basketball shoes that were signed by former and current professional women's basketball players, and to thank me for picking her.
And, finally, when James and I went to pick up his uniform, there was a female classmate of his also getting her equipment--that's right--a GIRL is playing on his team. As a pre-Title IX-er, this is very cool. And, it's pretty gutsy for a middle school girl to put herself out there like that. I told her I want to be her when I grow up.
I also got lots of high fives, fist pounds, hugs, smiles, invitations to share snacks, requests for tape and markers, and a sneak peak at the Drama Club's performance.