March 2022 SOLC–Day 6
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
Two of the boys in my fourth grade classroom are best friends and totally opposite body types. One is petite and small boned, the other is the opposite. This wouldn’t be relevant, except that recently their recess activity of choice is for Amos* to get on all fours and for Arnie* to sit on his back as if riding a pony. Arnie’s feet literally don’t touch the ground. They don’t even come close. The two boys entertain themselves happily during every recess crawling around the snowy, icy playground, and no one even gives them a second glance anymore.
Yesterday on the way out to the bus, they approached me, eager to share their newest brainstorm for their game. Amos started.
“Mrs. Hogan, you know how Arnie rides on my back?”
“Well, we’ve come up with a new plan. I’m going to wear my backpack so that when he gets on, he can use the straps like a saddle, to stay on better.”
“Oh…” I say, “…well, that sounds like a plan.” (I’m really not sure what else to say here.)
They move ahead of me and continue talking while I shamelessly eavesdrop.
“Hey, Amos, wouldn’t it be cool if we could do that like on the Oregon Trail?”
“Oh, dude! That’d be sick!”
“Yeah,” Arnie continued, ” and they’d look over and say ‘Look at that oxen.’ And then someone would say…’ Arnie inserted a dramatic pause and deepened his voice, ‘NO! That’s not an oxen! That’s a human!'”
The boys burst into hysterical laughter.
Sadly, I had to help another student then, and the boys moved out of audible range.
A moment later, I looked up to see them merging with the long line of departing school children ahead of them. Amos’s head and shoulders were clearly visible above the masses. Arnie’s were lost in the throng. But I was sure they were still walking together: Two pioneers on the trail to home.
*not their real names