Today, this afternoon, in a small classroom
flanked by chilly sun, the last of fall leaves, and a baseball field,
I took out a secret weapon of sorts.
They were rowdy, post-December-party,
post Monday, all day, after-the-weekend-fallout
of no-more-focus, but bouncy, wiry, zooming fatigue.
And they got me for literacy time.
I know. Not the best timing for 4 year old brains,
lips, teeth, tongue, high-top feet.
It took so many “shushes”, a slew of positive feedback,
and some great, dramatic, all is lost, maybe, siiiiiiiiiiiiiighs.
And crayons falling on the floor.
(I helped them along to add to the drama.
Sometimes 4 yr-olds like drama.
Maybe this is always).
Eventually, my aha…
No one knew my guy,
the innocent bearded minstrel
of my WHOLE childhood and my sisters’
and now my own squirrelly, gorgeous kids!
No one knew my RAFFI,
who is the voice of children everywhere,
who got us thinking about Manuel and Rahim in Iran,
Gita in India,
Janet, Koji in Japan, and all those kids,
Baby Beluga and Everything Grows, babies, too,
I swear, this is how I learned about the world.
He was my One Light One Sun chorus to G-d,
my notion of inherent goodness,
to wit that could be sweet and kind,
altogether in my living room cassette player,
in the shower, and on long trips,
to and from errand-trips in the blue Honda.
They were so silly; no way did they want slow songs.
Only the sillies.
Only the peanut butter song and You Gotta Sing.
Only great snaps and stomping breaths.
I, no, we, were saved.
Sometimes, you know, you gotta sing.
PS To my sister, to everyone: Raffi has a new album!
PSS I know I am my mother.
Here’s a maybe similar post, more of an essay on umbrella strollers, libraries, and love. Oh, yeah, & CHERRIES!!! It’s all about a girl named Bidemi & what you do with when you’ve got pits. Or when life is, for that moment, the pits.