I got to kick-off my Thanksgiving celebration a little early this year. I was one of the parent volunteers for Ellie’s kindergarten Thanksgiving party. I always enjoy the chance to get a glimpse inside the classroom where Ellie spends seven hours of her day. I had to bring plates, veggies, and a pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie happens to be my specialty so I was happy to sign up for that one.
The teachers had six craft stations set up with Thanksgiving themes. Pilgrim hats, pumpkin pie, make your own mosaic corn, and some pilgrim puppets. Boy, I thought my two kids made a mess. Within 30 seconds the room looked like Time Square after New Year’s Eve. Glue sticks with no caps were strewn about like empty beer bottles, scissors and markers were scattered on the tables, and all the paper scraps littered the floor like confetti. But just like how it is in New York, it was an indication the kids were having a blast.
After craft time, it was snack time. I think this is what they were most excited for too. I was in charge of veggies; the most unpopular item, but one I stand behind and will support to the end! I did convince some kids to try the rainbow carrot medley I brought telling them these were special magic unicorn carrots. Some of them actually bought it. The main event was salami. The person passing out salami was like a rock star. Tiny little greasy fingers waving in the air like groupies trying to get noticed. “Me, please!!! I want more salami. Meee! Five more pieces!”
Before I knew it, it was time to clean up and send them off to their next activity. It was really was just a genuine fun kindergarten party. However, there was one highlight that got my attention.
The first part of the party was giving the kids instructions on how to do the crafts. And the worst thing when you’re a kid is having to wait when fun is being dangled in front of your face. Understandably, the kids were a bit, shall we say, spirited. So spirited that the words “ewww, someone farted!” emerged from the crowd immediately sparking a fierce game of finger pointing while fanning and gasping for air. The accused offender was sent to a table by themselves. I’m sure there was a much larger story at play that I wasn’t privy to, but my first reaction was that it seemed a severe penalty for a SBD (Silent But Deadly). I think mostly the punishment was for the repeated use of the inappropriate harsh sounding four-letter word; FART. Anyway, at the moment I found it too harsh of a punishment. Maybe it’s just because I’m a little sensitive with this subject. I may have had a similar gas related experience at school during my youth. And yes, you bet I’m going to tell you about it.
It was in second grade after lunch. We were sitting cross-legged listening to the teacher read a story. For anyone who has sat cross-legged after eating, you’ll know it’s not the best position to aid digestion. It’s also a hard position to keep things in place. You know what I mean. Things you don’t want to escape. Mostly air. Or gas. Your body just doesn’t flow properly when sitting bent in-half like that. Especially after eating what was most likely a salami and mustard sandwich. I imagine I tried to keep the situation from happening. My brow probably furrowed while trying to unbend myself without drawing any attention. Moving slowly as to prevent any sudden airflow redistribution while I tried to elongate my stomach. But sure enough, during a very quiet part of the story combined with the wrong shift in my position, a little squibber snuck out. Oh no! My worst nightmare just happened. Of course the whole class erupted in laughter. And if that wasn’t punishment enough, the teacher’s scowl split the group of kids like Moses parting the Red Sea. I sat motionless and red-faced in the middle with all eyes glued to me while the teacher bellowed, “Do you have to use the bathroom!?”
I don’t really remember anything after that. It was a bit uncalled for in my opinion. I was the quiet shy kid who behaved and got good grades, not an obnoxious fart monster. Not at school anyway.
As my head was coming out of the fart cloud, I came back to Ellie’s classroom. This whole episode that just happened made me reminisce. Maybe this is what Thanksgiving is really about. I remember many Thanksgivings growing up with my brother and cousins finger pointing and accusing each other of that horrific four-letter word. Now it’s been passed down to a new generation, only my mom trained my kids to say the gentler sounding, “pass gas.”
While we eat until we can’t breathe and pass out on the floor with our pants unbuckled, be kind to your family members and please don’t banish them to the fart table or yell at them from across the room. Unless, well, sometimes that’s absolutely what you need to do.
Have a Happy, ThankFULL Thanksgiving!