All we do is change location. But, I will get to that in a moment (or three). I’ve been prodded by one of my most faithful readers to write something (she insists that my blog is “lonely”….thus, here I am, trying to cheer up my lonely blog). I have had things in my mind to write, and I have even had time to write them (sometimes), but I haven’t had the energy to do so (I shared in my last – very short – post about how exhausted I am). Like this dear reader (a blogger herself), I don’t want to blog solely for the sake of blogging; I always want what I share to be well-written, I want to make a point, and I always endeavour for my posts to be something more than narcissism given a playground. I simply haven’t been in a place where I could write something that is up to my standards.
Today, I am more pressed for time than I am with lack of energy (although, that is still a factor), and l am concerned about the lack of time and energy affecting the quality of what I write, but I am still determined to write something of substance here today. And, I do have an observation to share.
One of the wearying factors in my life at the moment is the daily school run: walking my youngest daughter to school and picking her up. However, this is not the time or the place for me to go into detail as to the whys and wherefores of my exhaustion with this situation. That’s not what this post is about. Rather, it is that wait in the schoolyard, before the doors open and the kids go in (or come back out), that I want to discuss here.
Watch the kids, for just a moment. What do you see?
Well, there are the cliques of the popular students, there are the nerds (we are a bit too young to have “jocks” at the moment – but if we were waiting outside an older class that group would be seen, as well), we have the watchers who observe – by choice they stand alone and take it all in, and we have the outcasts that are alone because they are outcasts. We have the bullies who intimidate others because they are so insecure themselves.
Now, you will forgive me for being jaded by life experience, I’m sure…. but, stop looking at the kids, and look at the parents. Guess what?
Every one of us never left highschool (some of us never left kindergarten)… we just moved classrooms. We now have the classroom of life. And, over there, clustered together, are the Popular people, with their schemes and their snide looks at everyone else that doesn’t quite fit in. And, there are the Observers, who stand back and watch, and wear their superiority like a cloak to protect them, comfortable in their isolation and the superiority that masks their pain. Then, we have the Outcasts, and the Popular folks see the pain on their faces, and either don’t care about it or, worse, they relish and do their best to enforce it. The Observers see the pain and have some compassion, but not enough to move them from their protected places of hyper-vigilance. And, occasionally, a bully still shows up to these gatherings and works to make everyone feel small so they can feel big. And, so the story goes on infinitum ad nauseum.
From this, I am sure you can tell the group to which I belong. As I said near the beginning of this, I have an observation to share. What I don’t have is a solution. I’d like to think that as we get older we actually grow up but, in fact, it’s like a line in a Marillion song that says, “Some people live and learn, others only live and live.” I’d like to amend that line to say, “the great majority only live and live”. I have always seen this – wherever I have been (the workplace, the coffee shop, the grocery store, and, most sadly of all, the church – ouch!), but nowhere shows it so excrutiatingly clear as in a primary school (elementary school, for my US readers) schoolyard. Because, really, the only difference between the parents and the children is height; the behaviours are exactly the same!
Sometimes I get to share private jokes with my fellow watchers. Oh, we don’t talk. It’s just a look between us. We are really the only ones who consciously acknowledge all this taking place and, every once in a while, we get rewarded with some delightful stupidity from the Populars that makes us smile knowingly. This happened the other day and I really had to fight the urge to laugh out loud. We watch the game – the sometimes intricate, sometimes utterly absurd dance – and we tell ourselves that we watch it all from a distance when, in actuality, we are all part of it – each one playing our part in this ever-repeating scene.
It’s rather a sad commentary, I know. And, I don’t have a positive thought to leave this on. Maybe my next post will be a bit more uplifting. But, I don’t feel this is quite finished. Oh well… whether it is or not, I don’t have the time to belabour it now – I have taken too much time here as it is!! And, all too soon it will be time to walk to the school – and watch – again.