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Somehow we’re stompin’ around

June 4, 2010

In the immortal words of Alice Cooper, “School’s out for summer.” And do you know which kid was the very first one out the door at the head of the yelling, shouting, waving mob? I’ll give you a hint: it was the one who told me on the way home, “I’m the very first fourth grader because I was the first one out the door.”

I met AJ at school, but we didn’t stay and play like we usually do. There were things to be done!

First, we stopped at home where AJ’s aunt had arrived to help with his party. Then we went for the annual picture of the neighborhood kids in AJ’s grade. But unfortunately, we had the time wrong and we missed the photo. But we got a picture of AJ with his three best buddies from the neighborhood, who are the ones that really matter to him anyhow.

Then The Boy Across the Street’s mom took AJ and his buddies to play at her house while we got ready for the party at home and anxiously watched the churning skies. Miraculously, the rain stayed away. I don’t know how it happened. The radar looked dreadful. But at 11:30, 10 boys arrived on our doorstep and we schlepped them down the road for a kickball game at the ball field with Mr. Spy as referee. I came back to the house to order the pizza and finish getting lunch ready. After an hour or so, we drove them back and the pizza arrived at exactly the right moment. The boys were not tired. They were wound up. The decibel level in the house was alarming. It was like hosting a pack of monkeys. At one point there was a kid climbing on the bar, another one hanging from the railing, and two others waving food in the air. And later, one of them shimmied all the way up the pole of the basketball hoop. We eventually got them corralled in the kitchen for cupcakes and popsicles and present opening and then turned them out into the yard where they spent 15 minutes arguing about what game to play and about 10 minutes actually playing it. A good time was had by all, I think.

Afterwards, The Boy Across the Street stuck around for a while to help AJ with one of the Lego sets he’d gotten. Then he left for baseball and the house was quiet. Ahhh. We had a chance to look through AJ’s gifts and cards. My favorite was a card made by his friend NS, who made his card from some stationery and rubber stamps. The top of the page had a stamp of a birthday cake. The bottom had a stamp of a hippo. The card read:

Dear AJ,
You are awesome!!!!
Happy Birthday,

P.S. Sorry about the hippo.

I am pretty sure that if I ever have a band, our first album will be called “Sorry About the Hippo.”

I headed off to teach at School of Rock and had a good lesson with my 9-year-old, although the room was so hot we had to prop the door open, which left us to listen to the guy trying to learn to play Stairway to Heaven on electric guitar in the next room. Fridays are usually deserted there. The shop closes at six and I’ve got one of the last lessons of the day. But for some reason, almost everyone was there. They are a nice bunch. I still feel a bit on the outside of things, but that’s mainly because I’m not there too much. The owner of the place invited me to join their monthly jam at a local roadhouse. I just might do it one of these days.

Next week, I’ve got two new students, but not at School of Rock. I’m taking on a third day of teaching at a studio in the town on the other side of us. If I could teach at School of Rock all the time, I would. I really like the place. But I am glad to have a few more students, and this place — I need to come up with a name for it — pays better, not that School of Rock pays badly. I just have this nagging feeling like it may be a pain in the ass to work there, though. Even though I have no evidence for it. We shall see.

P.S. Sorry about the hippo.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. LSM permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:15 pm

    Classic! One of my favorite memories from when I lived in the big city was watching a little girl at the zoo call, “Mr. Hip a hip a hip a hip a potomus!” over and over to the bored hippo at the exhibit. DH and I still recall it periodically even though it happened almost twenty years ago.

  2. DJ/Diamond permalink
    June 4, 2010 10:59 pm

    I will totally buy that album. Your picture of a hippo reminds me of my dog, which I believe to be unfortunate for the dog.

  3. June 5, 2010 7:52 am

    I have a funny hippo memory too. My then-3yo niece was annoyed at the sleeping hippo and wanted it to wake up. In her squeeky high pitched voice she yelled at it to “Waaaake Uuuup!” for about twenty minutes. It would twitch its ears, as if uncomfortable with the sound, then it started to glare at her and finally it got up to move further away! She remembers nothing of this, but it has become family lore around here. We need to say, “Sorry, hippo.”

  4. June 5, 2010 9:04 am

    “Who’s awesome??? YOU’RE AWESOME!”

    PS – Sorry about the hippo.

  5. June 5, 2010 12:58 pm

    LSM, what is it about hippos at zoos that inspire us to stand up and talk to them? A friend of mine visited the zoo with her boyfriend and fell in love with a Pygmy hippo, whom they took to calling the pygmy pygmy hippo, for reasons that are lost to history. And she wrote a pygmy pygmy hippo song. DJ, it may be unfortunate for the dog, but I find Reilly’s points of hippo resemblance to be among his most endearing qualities, second only to his enormous ears. Smed & Jill, I think perhaps we need to draft a collective apology to the species. It might save us all some time and energy.

  6. June 5, 2010 3:23 pm

    hippos happen…

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