The sun is setting later, temperatures are slowly rising, and everyone is sneezing. Yes, spring has sprung. Everything is anew, to every season, turn turn. Besides more time being spent outside and consistently shoving Flonase up my nose, spring signals that something new is blooming: my students have begun health class.
I am not their health teacher, but when the students come back from class, they take into account all of the times we’ve talked about ‘not leaving people out,’ and ‘making sure everyone feels included.’ How do I know they’re listening to me? Because they share EVERYTHING with me. I know too much, now and I can never go back. Based on some of the comments that these kids said, the entire gauntlet of a healthy lifestyle seemed to be thrown at them in a week – from blowing noses to boners. The things that they shared with me made me cringe, stifle laughter, and almost made me cry. It didn’t seem like it was a lot for them to take in, but good God, it was for me.
Nina: “Miss Mackay, will you look at my poster? I don’t know if I spelled everything right.”
Me: checking over a poster of healthy and unhealthy snacks, “Hmm, that’s interesting that you have orange soda and grape soda in the healthy category.”
Nina *rolls her eyes at me*: “They have fruit in them.”
After I finish a whole bottle of wine on a weeknight, I usually tell myself it’s like eating a bunch of grapes, so I see the logic.
Bobby: “I really hope the Easter bunny brings me some deodorant.”
Aw, sweet Bobby. Your innocence it adorable. But, I hope he brings it too. In fact, I hope he brings some to all of us.
Gerry: “Miss Mackay, I’m never doing drugs. Anyone who does drugs is a bad guy.”
Me: “That’s fantastic!”
Cue my inner maniacal laugh.
Toby: “I can’t wait to get armpit hair. I’m going to grow the longest armpit hair.”
We all need goals. Glad you have yours, Toby.
Matt *staring at a packet, very confused*: “I give up!” *shoves his packet into his desk*
Me, making my way over to him: “Matt, you should probably keep that in your health folder so it doesn’t get lost.”
Matt *reaches into his desk, pulls out the packet, holds it up in the air*: “Why do I need to know what a fowl-lip-pee-on tube is? Or a unerus! I don’t have one!”
Matt is holding up a diagram of a woman’s reproductive anatomy. I’m sputtering on what to say when another student chimes in:
Billy: “Matt, it’s ‘full-up-pee-on tube’ and it’s the part that looks like an angry scorpion’s eye, remember?”
Someone, please add ‘angry scorpion’ to Urban Dictionary. I need the world to know what I know. Thank you.
Maddy *very inquisitively*: “Miss Mackay, do you know what a sperm is?”
I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I never asked to be a part of.
Daniel: slowly approaches me before leaving for the day, “Miss Mackay, can I ask you a question?”
The entire class gets quiet. Several students look nervous, dare I say scared. My heart beat is all I can hear until a voice from the back of the room harshly whispers:
Nina: “No, Daniel, don’t!”
Daniel: “Miss Mackay, do you drink alcohol?”
Every. Damn. Day.
The countdown to spring break has begun. The kids need it, but more than ever, I need it. Please, Easter Bunny, save the chocolate. I’m hoping for an Easter basket full of wine – and deodorant..
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