dictator of recess
Today I discovered a new vantage point on the playground at middle school recess. If I stand in the top corner of this piece of equipment I will be in the sun, and I can look down on the entire playground like a sniper in a prison yard tower.
I can watch their tag game, their dangerous swing set activities, running down the slide, and I can see the make-out tree. From my tower I can point and yell at them to please stop standing up on the see-saw. I can gesture at the kid who, every Friday, pushes his friend into the swing set frame repeatedly until I make him stop. I can also lend an ear to the kid who wants to tell me an entire story with no perceptible beginning or end, only a very long middle. The same kid then runs away screaming, “I’m having so much fun!” He comes back a few minutes later to ask if I would like the 21 cents he found on the ground. “No thank you,” I say. “You keep it. You’ve earned it.”
Sometimes things get crazy and I have to confiscate a cell phone. Those are the dark times, but they rarely argue and they forget about it almost instantly.
But in spite of the one or two rules I have, and the occasional violation of their civil rights to texting, they love me and we have a great time.
Yes, I am the benevolent Dictator of Recess.