Some things you forget.
Or at least you think you do – until you’re reminded, and then you realize you still know them by heart.
I spent the weekend at a confirmation retreat with youth from our church and a nearby church. And then I chaperoned my daughter’s end-of-the-year field trip.
I can’t remember the last time I thought about all the social rules and rituals of childhood and those tumultuous in-between teen years.
But, oh how quickly they come back.
The self conscious ache of those kids who are a little awkward.
The know-it-all swagger of kids who straddle the border of being bullies. Funny , how intimidating they seemed when I was a kid, and how obvious it is now that they, too, are self consciously awkward.
The lonely yearning of the kid no one sits with on the bus.
The rhymes and chants that are so much a part of elementary social life: “Bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish. How many pieces do you wish?” or “Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack, all dressed in black, black, black, . . .”
The giggly flirting and mock helplessness when tween and teen girls try to get the attention of a cute boy.
The frequent double entendre s of tween and teen boys navigating their way through the new territory of male-female relationships.
The effort at hushed tones followed by bouts of rambunctious laughter during an attempted surreptitious game of Truth or Dare. (And the embarrassed giggles when you’re caught by the chaperones – oops!)
All those may be long in the past, but they’re definitely things I still know by heart.