Monday, April 11, 2011

i forgot

Sometimes you gotta open your eyes. You get a better understanding that way. I recently had to visit my oldest son's school to complete my parental mandatory volunteer hours. Deion, age 11, is in middle school and the volunteer hours are a prerequisite for attending his theme school. On this day, I was assigned to help out the in the cafeteria. Simple assignment. I had to help clean the tables once the students had finished eating. This was cool because it allowed me to have a seat on the stage and watch the the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. I found the next 2 hours to be very interesting. I watched as the kids came in. The cool kids. The nerds. The girls. I was within earshot of the kids as they came in. As I played with my blackberry, I listened to some of their conversations. They ranged from being very silly to very serious. I even heard one 8th grade girl say..."He asked me if he could get some." Wow. These kids are different from when I was a youngin.

Or are they?

I mean, it's a typical theme school. A school of kids from middle to upper middle class black families. Not ONE tough kid in the whole school. LOL. Seriously, I don't think one kid (including Deion) could have survived a week at my middle school. Don't get it twisted, Williams Middle School in Florence, SC (my school) could never be confused with NYC or LA but we were tough. There a lotta soft kids here. Maybe it's because their parents are soft? Then it dawned on me. I forgot. I forgot what it was like to be that age. I can't imagine how it feels to be 11, 12, or 13 yrs old right now. I'll be the first to admit that I'm hard on Deion. I want him to be great at whatever he does. I'm hard on him about his grades because he's an 'A' student. You can't bring no 'C' in my house. Deion's the oldest so he has to set the example for his brothers. That said, I realized everything aint easy for him. He's better off than I was at his age. However, it won't be easy. The world ain't easy. He'll have the same peer pressures that I had. Drugs, sex, cigarettes, alcohol will all be there. I told him the other day about how I had to do my research by using something called an "encyclopedia" but he has the Internet. That makes it easier for him.

Technology is great but you can't lose your creativity. Kids don't know how to MAKE up games to play. They'd rather be in front of a tv than to be outside. Nevertheless, Deion is not in an easy world.

Spending time at the school reminded me that I forgot what it feels like to be a kid again. So the next time he makes me mad, maybe I won't yell at him. Or...maybe I will but I won't yell as loud as I normally do...


Rashan Jamal said...

I definitely didn't have no tough guys in my middle school, but I didn't know that at the time. I know we had the cutting edge technology like Atari and Commodore 64 (LOL)back in the day, but we still played outside. I think the world just ain't as safe anymore, so kids can't just roam free like we did.

Serenity3-0 said...

I think it's cool that you HAVE to volunteer. Forces parents to get a look inside the place their kids spend so much time and the environment. I use to hate that my son liked playing inside more than outside, but I bought him a skateboard and now he lives outside!

Jazzy said...

I love that you have to volunteer as well...I think this should be a requirement at ALL schools - force parents/guardians to be involved in some way.

Make up games??? Man you buggin...these kids don't know NOTHING about that, or steal the bacon or skelly or hot pease and butter! lol.

12kyle said...

@ Rashan
I am amazed to ride down the street and NOT find kids outside on a nice day

@ Serenity 3-0
It's a great to volunteer at the schools. You know almost everything that's going on at the school. When you're involved, the kids are less likely to act a fool at school, too!

@ Jaz

You took it wayyyyyyy back! red light/green light! LMAO!!! I'm dyin laughing!

MzInspiredMind81 said...

I just yelled at the kids yesterday. It was 84 degrees out and they were inside on the laptop. I told them to go outside and don't come back in until I tell them! LOL. Seriously though, this world is sooo different from when we were coming up and kids are growing up wayyy faster than we did(imo). I wish I could keep my kids "kids" just a lil longer.

At Ryann's school you have to volunteer too. Parents also get a "parental report card" 2x a year with real letter grades based on your involvement at PTO meetings, parent teacher conference, your volunteer opp, etc. If you receive a "C" or lower in any catergory, you have to "go to the Principal's office" (for a meeting). I think this is an EXCELLENT way to ensure that parents stay involved in their children's education.

Queen of My Castle said...

This was a great post. I am constantly buying board games for the boys and me to play because you're right, they know NOTHING about making up games. I've had to teach them some of our old school games and teach my nieces hand games, like Rockin' Robbin. So glad I'm not alone. I am grateful that Kailon likes to draw. That's his creative outlet.

Tyrone said...

I can't wait to do this. It's easy to forget all the conversations that we had growing up and how we sounded in comparison. Great post, Kyle.

12kyle said...

@ MzInspiredMind81
Hahahahaah! You sound like MY momma. But you're right. Push those kids outside and let them have fun. Who wants to be in the house all day?

@ Queen
That's the right thing to do. Nothing wrong with board games. But push them to be creative

@ Tyrone
Man, I was sitting there cracking up. A few times I had to ask myself..."were we THIS goofy as kids?"

Thoughtsofsoutherngal said...

Love that you have to volunteer. I would like to see this being mandatory in all schools.

My 6 yr old lives to be outside. Sometimes I have to tell him, no. lol He will wake up at 8am asking to go outside and play.

LadyLee said...

Imagine if ALL parents had to volunteer. I think our kids would be better off. Really. Good post, bruh. Made me think.

♥ CG ♥ said...

I hear ya, Kyle. Even now, I have to pause when my 21-year-old niece tells me things because she's no different than I was at that age. They're "stimulated" by different forces but the way things play out are pretty much the same. They, just like we did, are finding their way and trying to make sense out of life's haps. Kids with caring, open and honest parents are the ones who succeed. Laying down the law in your house should be the norm not an exception. The little guys will become great men because of it.

Tee Reese said...

Good share!

I'm always reflective when I either act first or took the time to assess the situation when my son does something he shouldn't have.