The boys really open up while we are driving around town dropping one kid here and taking another there. I learn so much about their lives in the classroom when they can’t make eye contact with me as I drive. Yesterday all three of them discovered they had to do a lock down drill on the same day. I asked what is that? Jack, being one for detail and the chattiest of all answered, “well, the teacher puts paper over the window in the door, and the lights are all turned off, then we have to go in a group and huddle against a wall that is near the door and be quiet.”
When we lived in Arizona and Donny was a freshman he was in an actual lockdown, on the exact anniversary of the Oklahoma bombing. There was a bomb threat at his school, and in fact kids were taken into custody as the night before the police discovered stolen chemicals from the chem lab in their homes, all the necessary ingredients to make a bomb. Donny had his phone with him during his lockdown and we were able to text back and forth during those intense few hours. As a mom, it was one of my most painful realizations that my sons no longer were under my wing and I had to trust God with the plan He has on their lives. I think I lost my appetite for days.
I told the boys, “I remember growing up in Michigan attending a four-story brick school when we had tornado drills. We had to go under our desks, sit crossed legged, duck our heads into our laps and cover them with our arms, then stay there until our backs ached. All the while I was imagining a tornado whipping through our windows and being terrified that I’d meet the wicked witch of the west shortly afterwards.” They laughed at me for being scared, as if that only happens to the sissy girls. So I asked the kids, “Do you know why they practice lockdown?” Kevin spoke up, “In case someone is in school who isn’t supposed to be there, or if someone has a gun in school.” Then I asked, “So what do you think about while you are sitting there quietly are you scared?” Jack was eager to tell me, “Oh mom it’s never quiet because someone always lets a loud fart and that makes us all giggle.” “Seriously? Is it socially acceptable to do that out loud? ‘ They were all quick to assure me that it happens all the time.
When I was in school that was the absolute most embarrassing condition to find yourself in and it was always assumed it couldn’t be helped, it was never ever on purpose. If someone did get identified as the one who farted out loud the other kids teased and snickered about it for weeks. It could demolish someone’s reputation to do that out loud in class. So, I had to know, “Do you guys do that in class?” (Oh please God I don’t really want to know they are that free in their social circles…maybe they should lie to me just this once) Jordan was quick to tell me no way it was uncool. Kevin said, “I wait until I’m in the hallway and then I hurry away from the smell.” Then Jack said, “sure, when I gotta fart I fart.” How could this be? I asked him, “What does your teacher say when that happens?” He very matter-of-factly said, “It makes her giggle a little bit and then she tells us it’s ok everyone does it.” I suggested he should try Kevin’s approach. He said, “naw, it’s not a big deal everyone has do it.”
Later I asked Craig what he thought about that and he said, “avoid the hallways during class changes.” I thought, it has to be the boys, surely the girls don’t do that publicly, if they do, it’s another good reason to home school Kira, in addition to the fact that kids in school have to actually practice what to do if someone comes in with a gun! Oh my how the world changes from one generation to the next.