|Ruth Ayers and Stacey Shubitz |
host "Slice of Life" on their
Thursday, I watched as this group of boys, whom I taught in high school, proved to me that they were men. It was the wedding of a former student, and I was able to catch up with nine of "My Kids." They are an inspiration to me personally, and the inspiration for this week's Slice of Life.
|Me (with the tie) and seven of "My Kids"|
The invitation said, “Wedding starts promptly at 11ish,” and at 11:40, under a crystal blue mountain sky, the assembled wedding party proceeded to squawk a cacophony of crow calls, to let the bride know her cue had come. The men (my kids) were dressed in dark jeans, long-sleeved shirts, black vests and newsboy hats. The moment the bride walked in, the groom, obviously overwhelmed, had tears of emotion streaming down his face. It was sweet, it was real. He wiped the tears away with the back of his hat and had honest, non-judgmental support from all his friends to carry on. He managed to mostly hold it together, give his own vows of commitment and hear equally unique, fun and teary vows from his bride. References were made to Monty Python, The Princess Bride, and we shouted in Spanish (none of them are remotely Hispanic but they all took Spanish) to support their commitment. The wedding was short, unique, funny, typical in moments, and utterly true to the two people getting married and the wondrous influences upon them from their friends and family.
I’ve always referred to all my students as “my kids” but some have been more “my kids” than others. My science classroom always had an open door during the nine years I taught high school and over that time, several groups of kids chose to hang out there outside of class time.
This group of boys was among my last group of "my kids" from my first teaching job. They graduated in 2007, the year I moved back to my hometown and my current teaching job. Several were younger siblings of previous students of mine so they were comfortable hanging in my room within a few weeks of starting high school. We had four years with each other, even when they did not have classes with me. By their senior year, we were friends, with a few awkward moments when I had to be “the teacher” to keep things in line at school.
The reception, was a comfortably unscheduled affair. It was held in a covered pavilion, open on two sides including an amazing view of the mountain scenery. People sat where they wished, ate when they wanted and eventually got around to a few teary and heartfelt toasts. I managed to catch up with my boys in one way or another. We talked of jobs, furthered education, a first year of teaching, making sandwiches at Subway, losing parents, first children, new hobbies, the death of a child and the possibilities of the future. We did not talk politics--we know better after our Facebook posts. Some are in graduate school, some never went to college. They are single, dating, just married, or married with a new baby. They are in relatively stable jobs or in transition. They are all taller, heavier, hairier, older, and still are also “my kids,” willing to be fun and silly (see the picture below). They still know who they are at heart, know who they are as a group and those things will allow them all to find success, in one form or another. They are men.
|Always ready for a few shenanigans|