Mr. Recess, I Wish I had Treated You Better.

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I think life takes a turn for the complicated once our recess days start to wind down.

In about the 5th grade, recess starts to become less about playing, running, chasing other kids in circles, throwing balls at each other, and sweating (like a grossly overweight highway construction worker in the Florida sun, during the month of July, at high noon, on a 97 degree day, with 427% humidity) and more about clothes, dating, dances, and paying attention to personal hygiene (for some).

At this point, we don’t know it but our minds and bodies are about to go haywire and our friend for the last 6 years, Mr. Recess is about to leave us forever. Sure, we will still go outside after lunch in junior high and high school, but it isn’t the same.

During our later grade-school years, our bodies get taken over by gremlins who evidently work for the NPA (National Puberty Association). I am not sure what these gremlins look like, but they sure can make a junior high boy do and say things that make grown men look away and reduce women to tears.

At this time, many adults are convinced that all 12 year-olds are going to prison, if they don’t change their ways.

Fortunately, if all goes well and you have parents who scream loud enough and send you to your room for long enough, you may just survive and have a productive life, after all.

Hopefully, your parents care enough to yell- “If there is any justice in the world, you will have kids that act just like you.” Even if things go well, and the gremlins leave and move on to another pre-pubescent target, we are never the same.

At this point, we are so messed up that when we do get a break from our minimum wage job at McDonald’s, recess has left us and will never return.

My theory is: recess is wasted on the young. During our prime recess years, we don’t appreciate what we have.

Instead of enjoying every sweaty moment and each game of kickball, every kid in America complains to the teacher during recess that it is way too hot, too cold, too short, too long, too boring, that I have no one to play with, the other kids are bothering me, he or she is staring at me, and the classic- it wasn’t me, he started it.

If we could only go back and have recess as an adult. How great would it be to have the bell ring at work promptly at 10:30 and 2:30? We could all line up and go outside for 30 minutes and throw balls at each others’ heads.

During recess, there was no talk of relationships, taxes, bosses, politices, gas prices, the war in Iraq, or anything remotely complicated.

We just didn’t appreciate Mr. Recess until he was gone, and by then, it was too late.

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3 Responses to “Mr. Recess, I Wish I had Treated You Better.”


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    [...] we can be hard to satisfy (don’t deny this either). It’s like a 3rd grader with a 15 minute recess. They always say the time passes too quickly. I think they would say the same thing if recess [...]


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