I was subbing for a special education aide at an elementary school. I was somewhat a familiar face to the students since it was my sixth visit to the class. I knew almost all the students by name which is no small thing for me. I have a bad habit of names going in one ear and out the other instead of sticking between my ears.
Two of the boys, in particular, acted so enthused to see me again. The entire school day they treated me as if I was some celebrity. I am not used to male admiration. The last male admirer I can recall was a fella named John who was in my first-grade class. Now that was, give or take, a half-dollar’s worth of years ago. I thought to myself that too bad both of these two boys were born in this century instead of the 1950’s.
They both asked me a ton of questions. I felt like I was a guest on the Dr. Phil show. One of them asked what year I came into this world. I answered truthfully and was rewarded with them both informing me I was old. I said, “Hey, guys, I’m not ancient. I was subbing at the same elementary school I attended when I was your age just the other day and the building is still standing.”
The teacher got on to them for even asking the question as well as their not-so-tactful response. They both apologized. I couldn’t be mad at them. I’m pretty much immune to it since they aren’t the first, and won’t be the last, of students to ask me the age-old question. I’ve come to expect I am ancient in their eyes.
A week later, I was at another school subbing in a school gym where I had a different experience. Out of the blue, without any encouragement from me, a boy came up and said to me, “You look nice today”. I asked him to repeat it since I wanted to be sure I heard him right. His comment made my day. Well, with kids and their observations and questions, I have to take the sour with the SWEET.