"It is really hard to paint hair," I said after having already cleared up the idea that children would not be painting their hair, but would be mixing colors to recreate the color of their hair on paper. "It would be easy to paint your hair. You would just need white and black," said one of the Tracks children.
"And it would be really easy to paint your hair because you don't even have to paint your hair," intoned one of the other Tracks.
So true. I am not painting my hair on paper or otherwise, the children are. She caught me up in a truth. These are the kind of moments that I both treasure and dread. The moments when the "it" is caught up by one of the children or the parents and all "its" layers of intended, imagined, and perceived shininess are peeled away.
The moments in which "it" is peeled away can be hilarious or really hard to hear and sometimes they are both, but in any case, they strike a truth. The thing revealed is not always a whole truth. It is more often just bit of truth, something I have to pause and consider. Is it the way I messaged something? Is it an unrealistic expectation that I have shaped? And something I do all the time...Am I saying we when I mean you?
Children will be very direct, unnervingly so. You will know when you have to brush your teeth, when you have splattered paint across your forehead, or when you have made poor fashion choices. Children will set you straight on that kind of stuff.
Parents will too. This is the thing about working at a cooperative school. They may not tell you about that paint splatter or your fashion choices, but they will talk to you directly about curriculum, about delivery of message, and how to do things better. And guess what? Sometimes, maybe even a lot times, they are right, not always right, but sometimes. Just as I am sometimes wrong.
Checking it at the door, doesn't mean leaving it outside. This means that you check it, as you walk in, and look through and past the peeling away of the layers. I mean, the thing MUST be peeled away sometimes! The thing left could be a precious jewel, not so easily discarded or it could be rotten at the core and then you just get that right into the compost bin!
Oh and also brush your teeth.