dictionary.com – a period of time when the proceedings of a parliament, committee, court of law, or other official body are temporarily suspended
wiktionary.org – to take or declare a break
Melissa Boyer – a 10-minute moment of the day to supervise kids releasing their energy to better learn throughout the rest of the day
LPA 1st grader – a 10-minute moment of the day to chase and tackle Ms. Boyer.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at Legacy Preparatory Academy see 3 recesses: morning, lunch, and afternoon. The bitter cold has effected the kids desire to be out in the cold for more than 5 minutes, let alone 10 whole blessed minutes of freedom. But when an adult is out there who has no other desire but to reach back into time, becoming a first-grader herself for 10 minutes, the ability to stay warm is made simple.
I walk outside – unsure if this recess will bring any kid near me. But as soon as I find a seat on the wooden bench, I am surrounded with kids taunting me to come and chase them – to run and heighten my body temperature, to make the cold more bearable. And so I believe that the next 10 minutes of my life will consist of a harmless game of tag – me being it. I no sooner get up and start chasing after one of the 77 first-graders, when I realize immediately that I, myself, am being chased by 30 first-graders. My speed quickens – keeping the cold at bay. I catch the one chased first-grader, and before the group topples on to me, I have time to swing that unexpected first-grader around and around in the air.
But no sooner than I have put the One down, the wind is blown out of me as I brace myself against the thirty who tackle into me, desperately trying not to fall down into the soft, muddy winter earth, at no avail.
What then occurs is something one has only seen on – cartoons, or the Mask of Zorro. Those 30 seven-year-olders tackle me to the ground and pile upon each other to make my escape impossible! But little do they realize that the only things that they are ALL on top of are my feet. I quickly slide out of that hilarious predicament – and laugh to see them all on top of each other! But the laugh is short-lived as I realize that they noticed that I am no longer under them – their captive has freed herself. So I grab my shoe that had been pulled off, and start sprinting away, temporarily forgetting that the ground is moist after the light rain and snow. My memory comes rushing back into focus as my socked foot lands in the soft mud and the feeling shoots up my spine. Due to that impediment, I am soon tackled again by 30 little people – sending All of me down into the spongy, moist earth. My clean pants are now again in need of a washing.
All of us are laughing and you hear multiple renditions of: ““Get off her.” “Ah, you got me.” “Get her.”” from all voices – but then we hear “10,9,8…” being chanted off in the distance – and I see FREEDOM! It’s time to line up to go back into the world of books, teachers, pencils, and ‘hugs&bubbles’.
Recess - a period of time when the proceedings of an organized school system are suspended to become a kid again.
It’s worth all of the mud and grass stains, and the like-allergic reaction I receive to the wood chips spread across the playground.
Life is good when you can be a kid.