Running with the Bulls

Today was the last day of our prison sentence.
Lunch duty.
For those unfamiliar with this barbaric practice,
parents at our catholic school must not only pay for their child's education, but also work at the cafeteria five times.
My wonderful husband, whom I absolutely worship and adore,
did two days with me and I did one on my own. (yes I am trying to curry favor here so I don't end up doing all five of them next year)

This two hour gig is long.

The lunch lady-nazi barking out orders does not make it any easier either.

Scrub down 158 tables before and after the meal.
Align milk cartons just so, never, NEVER let there be less than 17 on the queu.
Not a teaspoon more of marinara sauce per serving.
Count out each macaroni.......

As he and I wipe down the tables with a bleach/water solution, we plot.
Stick together, it will be alright.

Dad-- behind the counter---
Mom, Outside!

We were not prepared to be separated.
Our eyes silently agree that I, being the "retired" teacher, should go outside.

The position of school yard monitor is not a delight.
Two words: substitute teacher.

I've come prepared though.
One long stretchy rope and a bunch of fourth graders later, my confidence level is improving.
I introduce "filipino jump rope" (as a child it was called chinese garter)
Jumping over an elastic hurdle in a body twisting motion may not seem like much, but at the moment, it is a godsend...until their time is up.

Suddenly I am running with bulls.
6th, 7th and 8th graders are huge.
They tower over me.
They have facial hair.
My stretchy rope stays bunched up in my sweaty hand never to come out.
I am afraid.

My beloved, having just come from a facial from serving up 412 steaming hot meatballs, wickedly asks me,
aren't you going to teach your game to these children?
He knows they will eat me alive.

The church bells start ringing and the big kids fall silent.
as they pray, I mutter my own prayer of thanks.
The penitence is almost over.

The last group trickles out and finally, it is our offsprings' group.
It is like substitute teaching only worse because there is no monetary reward.
The compensation: brownie points from our children.

Surely that counts for something.