I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the fine teachers at Springview Elementary School on the wonderful job they’re doing teaching our kids. With all of the negative news we usually hear about our school system, I think it’s about time we had a positive story. Here’s mine…
The other day I was sitting outside on the patio by the pool. It was relatively quiet; nothing but the incessant wail of emergency vehicles on Okeechobee Road in Hialeah could be heard. (What’s going on over there anyhow? I mean, I never stops.) Anyway, I was just sitting there thinking about our dwindling supply of kitchen utensils when I noticed something shiny in the bushes. Upon investigating, I discovered a cache of knives, forks and spoons along with an assortment of food items.
“Has a hobo taken up residence in our yard?” I wondered. No! As it turns out, our son has been learning about the middle-ages in school and, apparently, he and his friends have decided that it would be amusing to turn our backyard into something resembling a village of that era. In reality, our backyard now more closely resembles the images you’ve seen on TV of Afghanistan – after they dropped a MOAB on it.
In just a few weeks they’ve managed to defoliate pretty much every tree and shrub within their reach. They’ve dug holes everywhere and buried Lord knows what in them. In addition, the grass has been trampled down to the bare dirt and rocks and sticks are strewn all over the place. When questioned about the holes, the explanation was that “in the old days, people buried food in order to preserve it.” Oh, did they? I suppose THAT explains why the potatoes and onions have been disappearing from the pantry and why the dog is constantly throwing up things that we never see him eat and, quite frankly, never imagined he'd want to eat in the first place.
Yes, it’s quite a scene at our house when the kids get together to play “middle ages.” They each assume a role such as “stone mason”, “blacksmith” or “baker” and then proceed to perform the daily chores associated with each role. Oddly enough, in the middle-ages, ALL of these roles involved the arduous task of fashioning spears and other weapons from sticks and lead fishing weights. (I seriously doubt that the people of that time used “duck tape” but I didn’t want to spoil the kids’ fun by mentioning it to them.)
When they’re not fashioning spears, the next most popular activity is wallowing in dirt. “Dirt”, as used here, is probably a misnomer since, at some point, one of the kids – usually the “farmer” – decides that water is needed and the hose comes out. Once this happens, all bets are off. Usually, only a bucket or two of water is required. Other times, however, entire fields of crops must be irrigated and the back yard takes on a post-monster truck rally appearance.
Another task performed by people in the middle ages – at least from what I’ve been able to gather – is pounding rocks with a hammer. This is quite popular with the kids since you can combine this activity with “wallowing in the dirt” and get your daily chores done in half the time.
The dog, meanwhile, has taken to this game remarkably well. He’s perfectly adapted to digging and wallowing in dirt and he loves to play with small rocks. Being a dog with a typical dog brain, he has somehow gotten the notion that I’d rather not have small rocks all over what little grass is left. This is a good assumption but, unfortunately, he has incorrectly assumed that I’d rather have them in the swimming pool. So he spends his time dutifully digging up the rocks the kids have crushed with their hammers, carrying them to the edge of the pool and dropping them in. (Let me just point out to those of you that don’t have swimming pools that you do NOT want rocks in them!)
The net result of all of this activity is that I now have a pool full of rocks, muddy paw prints all over the deck, no grass, sticks everywhere and a bunch of holes to step in when I go to take out the garbage at night.
So, once again, “Thank you” to the entire staff at Springview Elementary School. You’re doing a great job and if anybody ever tells you that our kids aren’t learning anything in school, just send them over to my house.As usual, you can E-Mail comments, questions or suggestions to