Long day at work. In the evening headed out to a birthday gathering at a bar for one of my school friends. I had a good time. Went to sleep watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.


Shorter workday, but felt longer because we were shorthanded.
We were out for recess, and there is this girl, Marigold, a third-grader, that has near-potato levels of coordination and body strength. She is an avatar of childhood anxiety, and mostly quietly goes about her business like Eeyore. This recess, she decided that she was going to join the kids that like to sit on top of a monkey bars set that looks like this:
freestanding-360-circle-overhead-monkey-bars-Playground-Equipment-1367085899She was standing on the little ladder and trying to pull herself up, but she didn’t really have the strength, and she didn’t have enough practice at the monkey bars and wouldn’t trust her own footholds when she found them. She did this for like 50 minutes. At this point, some of the other kids were getting pointedly cruel to her because she was blocking the steps, and she was starting to feel excluded.
At the end of the hour, the next time that I passed by, she asked me for a boost. I usually just say no, but she was trying and struggling so much, I wanted her to have that feeling of victory. I gave her a boost up so that she could try and sit on the top.
Which turned out to be a huge mistake.
She wasn’t coordinated enough to find a good place to put her sitbones, so she ended up just straddling one of the bars which started to hurt her. This surprised her enough to make her remember that she has a severe fear of heights, and she started to have a panic attack meltdown, screaming at the top of her lungs for me to get her down.
I have some strength, but not enough to just lift her off of monkeybars that are 6 or 7 feet off the ground. Now I start to get a little anxious, because the last thing that I want is for her to fall off and hit her head on a pole on the way down. Most kids have a primal, animal self-preservation instinct that gives them greater strength and balance to get down, but I’ve seen Marigold faceplant into sand after being afraid to jump off of a 3 foot balance beam, so I’m starting to sweat.
Now, with the world’s worst timing, another kid that I’ve been working with a lot this week, Evan, comes over. Evan is a 4th grader with anger problems and the biggest streak of stubbornness I’ve ever seen. He loves to “little lawyer” to death (“Butthole is an inappropriate word to be saying around the club.” How is that inappropriate? But isn’t a bad word. Hole isn’t a bad word. I’m just saying “but” then “hole.” How is that against the rules?), has a really morbid sense of humor, and wants to join the military so that he can learn how to kill people. All that being said, he’s a very sweet kid, and often has a big heart.
This was the worst time for his sweetness to come out. He comes up to Marigold and starts screaming banal motivational phrases like “You can do it!” My only option was to get her to focus on me, get her breathing to slow, and tell her how to move so that she could get herself down, but the second Evan came over, she lost focus and started panicking again. That meant that I needed for Evan to just go away, but then he got butthurt that I wasn’t just praising him for doing a good deed. I had to put on my quiet Batman voice and say, really quietly, Evan, I asked you to go. You need to go away right now.
After getting her attention back on me again, I was able to help her hop down. Lest it seem otherwise, I have a lot of compassion for this girl. But after she was back on the ground, I knew I was going to think twice about helping another kid reach their goals. Too risky.
When I got home, I made some dinner, salad, butternut squash, potatoes.
After dinner, I headed out to an underground room on Belmont where some acquaintances were DJing house music. Out of an hour or so, I got about 10 self-consciousness free minutes of dancing, which isn’t a bad ratio for me. I dragged my roommate Natalie Colen out with me, Jesus Christ was there, and a bunch of people that I knew on sight at Reed. Small town.

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