Just call me, “Recess Mom.”
Yes, my time has come. I have officially arrived.
My daughter’s small Catholic elementary school relies heavily on parent volunteers to supplement staff, so instead of reacquainting myself with the Dewey Decimal System in the school’s windowless library, I signed up to break up fights on the playground… I mean encourage good sportsmanship on the soccer field and make sure everyone gets a turn on the monkey bars.
Fortunately, I haven’t had to unleash “Mean Recess Mom” … I mean, “Let’s all play nice like good Christian boys and girls Mom” yet. Actually, I haven’t had to do much of anything in the two weeks since I was bestowed with my official neon green (with electric yellow reflectors) safety vest and fanny pack equipped with an Epi-pen, Band-Aids and antibacterial wipes.
Well, there was one day last week when I tied a boy’s shoes and helped another retrieve his jacket from the top of the soccer goal post. Oh, and in another moment of official duty, I helped pick teams for a soccer match-up between first and second graders.
Basically, I stroll around the grass field making sure that no one makes a break for the nearby bagel shop or that an enthusiastic second grader doesn’t bulldoze an unsuspecting kindergartner on his way to the swings.
Recess mom is a pretty sweet gig, but it’s also very short. The school allows kids to play outside for just 15 minutes at a time. Granted, they get three recesses per day, but when it’s 80 degrees and sunny outside I don’t see why school administrators can’t give the kids a few extra minutes to run off steam before they chain them back to their desks.
I grew up in Hawaii, so I know what it is like to sit in a stuffy classroom on an absolutely gorgeous day. However, my kid goes to school in Wisconsin. Around here nice days are as rare as a Spix’s Macaw sighting outside of Brazil.
I realize that teachers are forced to follow a tight schedule in order to complete daily curriculum, but when it’s 80 degrees and cloudless on a September day in northern Wisconsin, I say, ditch the books for an extra 10 or 15 minutes and let the kids run around in the fresh air and on the green grass. After all, in a month, that grass will likely be buried under a foot of snow.