Sunday, December 21, 2008

memphis sojourn

saturday nights circa 1999 consisted of a lot of phone calls. phone calls about which party to go to, which band to see, which event to be 'seen' at. phone calls about what to wear, what not to wear because she was wearing it, about what to borrow to wear. friends arriving. spending far too long getting dressed and fixing hair. all in an effort to achieve the 'messy, effortless' look. finally going out. music. dancing. smoke infested air. insta-crushes on elusive dj's. foraging for food at 2am. novelty of heels over at 3am.

rinse and repeat.

i tired of those saturday nights a long time ago. now i'm completely content to be with friends and family. small get-togethers. board games. couch time. tea time. dinner parties. art gallery crawls. movies. in-front-of-the-fire-time. i don't really miss 'checking out the scene' or 'hitting the clubs' or 'partying till the break of dawn'.

is this a sign i'm getting old? probably. but i'm okay with that.

more concerning, is the fact that i just used the phrase 'partying till the break of dawn' a sign that i'm getting old? definitely.

occasionally i will have the craving to dance. however, that impulse is taken care of because, 9 times out of 10, conversations between dev and i end like this:

d: shall we buy steaks for dinner
g: i'm feeling like a vegetarian tonight
d: okay, steaks and hummus?
g: do you think we've OD'd on hummus lately?
d: want to DANCE about it?

and then dancing ensues. in the supermarket aisle. side of road. your kitchen. the location is irrelevant. and it's not really a question either. it's more of a statement so i have no choice. the next thing i know i'm being whirled and dipped in the fruit section of krogers.

this saturday, i drove with dev, his family, and some family extras like nathan and collin's girlfriend, inee, to memphis. we were going to show our support to the memphis baha'i's who were holding their reflection meeting.

we had no idea what to expect but the turnout was amazing. suddenly the large room was full of friendly faces and laughter. as the meeting was about to begin we realized there were about twenty kids in the room aged between 2 and 14 and no children's program.

i decided i would take them upstairs and do activities with them so their parents could take part in the meeting with less distractions. it was also precisely at this exact moment that i forgot how one child contains enough energy to power a small island.

collin, inee and nathan bravely jumped on board and we herded the children into the big rumpus room upstairs. then we looked at each other and had the sinking realization that we had no. idea. how we were going to entertain them for an hour or so.

cue the noise. screaming-for-no-reason-at-all. laughter. giggling. jumping. bouncing. racing. running. did i mention the screaming?

of course the children had a blast because kids are awesome like that. they think 'cool, i'm in a room with my friends. no parents in sight. i can be a maniac. this is fun'.

meanwhile my brain is doing back flips to my montessori school teacher assistant days trying to remember games. we exhausted the few i remembered in oh, about five minutes.

then i had to get creative. one of the children found a penny and tah dahhh! now we were all going to play my 'magic penny game'. everyone sits in a circle, one child leaves the room. the rest pass the penny around while i sing the 'magic penny song'. when i stop singing the penny stops and the child who left the room comes in and guesses who has the penny.

sounds pretty decent right?

well the problem was, that there was no point to it. if the child guessed right, well great. if they guessed wrong, they guessed wrong. one of the older kids finally asked ' do you win this game?'

my sophisticated response? 'i don't know because i just made it up'.

yes, by the end of the hour my ears were buzzing like i'd stood too close to the speakers at a concert. yes, i was wiping 'art' off one of the white walls that had been used as an impromptu canvas. yes, i crashed on the couch feeling like i'd been trampled by wilder beast.

but, the thing is. i had a great time.

these children were brilliant lights. they showered each other with affection and kindness. they were patient with their younger siblings. they loved us and our lame excuses for games. they were full of happiness and energy and enthusiasm for life.

i'm so glad that this was how i spent my saturday.

1 comment:

a penny for the old guy said...

that actually sounds awesome.
also it sounds like my BESS class... and the thing is, my BESS class is the highlight of my week every week.

much love