When I pick my kids up from school, I’m impressed to see the neat lines of students waiting for their parents.
Kids all stand on predestined areas marked with lines on the ground – some painted, some chalk.
As impressive as the organization is, I generally scoff at the over-management of our kids at elementary school.
I remember the days of the bell ringing and being on my own to roam, to discover, to be a kid and to, at my own pace, get home safely.
I miss those days for my kids and believe there are ways to get some shred of them back.
Free to Stray
Oh no, the chalk line has washed away,
Do I still stand here, or can I just play?
I should find a teacher, they can help me,
They’re inside now so I’ll leave them be.
I’m a third grader, though, I know what to do,
Maybe I’ll talk to my friends for a minute or two.
I don’t see them enough, they wait in a different line,
I miss the days where we chatted all the time.
I’m excited we’ll get to catch up today,
Now that rain washed the chalk line away.
When I’m done with my friends, I’ll go on the slide,
My legs need stretching, I’ve spent all day inside.
All of a sudden, this chaos feels good,
I’m starting to think that I actually could –
Play in the grass,
Run in any direction,
Talk to another class,
Be untamed by instruction.
Finally, I’m a kid and free to stray,
All because the rain washed the chalk line away.
Tomorrow, for sure, the lines will be re-drawn,
This treasured chaos will likely be gone.
The new lines will have school-order restored,
Back to being safe and back to being bored.
I’ll stand on the fresh lines and wait for the day,
Where the rain will forever wash these chalk lines away.