I teach five high school kids multi-media art. They range in age from fourteen to seventeen. I'm having a hard time distinguishing myself as the older, wiser adult. Sometimes I feel like I am in high school along with them. And I feel guilty. It is so hard to keep a straight face when they say all the funny and silly things they do. I am the same way with my kids. Yesterday we spent about a half an hour listening to this message on our voicemail and laughing, laughing, laughing.
A female voice on our answering machine says, "Hello? Hello? Ffffrrrrppppt." It sounded like a fart. Then she says, "Hello?" one more time like she is disoriented or something. Like, dang I can't believe I am making these solicitation calls and I let a fart escape. Oh, my kids laughed so hard they had tears in their eyes. We spent the rest of the day talking about the fart. Oh, and you bet we saved the message.
Then there are the days when I am beat and need a five minute nap. One day as I laid on my bed with one of my daughter's little blankets, Solomon climbed in the bed behind me to snuggle. He always loves to snuggle. I was just entering my sleep phase and was a little drowsy. He says, "Whoa, mama. Its warm back here!" and I told him, "Oh, its just my butt heater." We had a nice giggle about that one and then he ran off to tell his brothers that mama had a butt heater.
I remember some of my favorite teachers were the ones who liked to have fun alongside their students. So think I want to be that kind of teacher. When my students are working on a project I have assigned, I sit alongside them and work on the same project with them. I tell them it is my only chance to do art these days. In the process, I have to sit there and listen to all the teenage things they have to say. One of the guys told us that his cat just had kittens. Not knowing what else to bring to the conversation (this is the start of a new semester and I just met all these kids), I asked, "So, how did you know she was having kittens?" Because, when my mom's german shepherd had puppies, she went out to the shed, gave birth to one puppy and then carried it to my mom's back door to let her know the birthing process had begun. So I thought this was a safe question to ask. Well, the boy paused for a second and then he said, "Well, she walked into the livingroom with a kitten hanging from her butt..." And the entire class burst into hysterical laughter. And I tried soooo hard to keep a straight face but I couldn't. I sat there cracking up.
What can I say? I will never be one of those stuffy moms..or a stuffy teacher. And that is fine by me!