Tuesday 12 July 2011

Hands in pockets

There are dozens.

Aged probably from 7 to 11 or so, all seemingly darting here and there like a snow flurry of prepubescents. Only when you focus can you see that there are little pockets of them not rushing about.

Little groups of 4 to 8 kids standing around the school yard. Boys and girls listening to, and telling exaggerated yarns, giving and receiving game instructions, hearing the latest updates of whatever it is that is important in that world.

Most are wrapped up well against the sharpness in the bright mid-morning March sunshine. The leaders, the cooler kids sacrificing body heat to stand scarfless, dictating to their subjects in unzipped jackets. The groups centre around these leaders, closely circled by others hanging on every word and gesture.

At the edge of one group there is a stray. An extra. A leftover. A boy or a girl standing three or four feet away from the rest. My bus moves on leaving them behind, and it unclear, whether the child was trying to work up the courage to join the group, or showing reluctance to leave it.

Just standing there with hands dug deep into his or her coat pockets watching the others.

7, maybe 8 years of age and already experiencing a nasty reality they can’t possibly yet comprehend. People are often mean for no reason, they exclude, they judge, they persecute. They do it at 8 years of age, they do it at 80.

A reality I know. A lesson I don’t welcome. A mental note of a school I won’t be sending my daughter to.

March 2011.


IrishNYC said...

I love that you're back with such random thoughts. :)


Tara R. said...

It's good to see you back and writing here. You've been missed.

darcie said...

I've been experiencing this at my kids' daycare...and while I (sadly) know it will be coming just around the bend when my girl starts school in two months...I can't help but feel heartbroken that they are already experiencing it before they even hit kindy. :(

Lorna said...

Enjoying your posts again :)

Just wait till the birthday parties start and you realise what the kids are like that your child sits beside in school - some are great, some I wonder do they actually behave like that at home or do they just lose all control when they are let out!

Martin said...

@IrishNYC – Cheers.

@TaraR – Thanks.

@Darcie – Not at all nice eh?

@Lorna – I’m considering banning friends completely.

merinz said...

Its a really hard problem for an adult to address.

Kids have very subtle ways of excluding others if they have a mind to.