Thursday, April 06, 2017

Church Pants

"We'll eat you up we love you so." ~Maurice Sendak

A couple days ago I spotted flesh through a tiny thread-bare spot in the knee of my jeans. I tend to think of these as my "new" jeans, but in reality they've been my go-to classroom pants for a while now. The consumer in me feels that a good pair of jeans should last more than two years, but the truth is that I've been hard on them, what with the constant kneeling and crawling required by the job.

I know that I shouldn't let a tiny hole stop me from wearing them. After all, I virtually invented the tattered jeans look. During my early years as a teacher, in fact, there were kids who referred to their own hole-y jeans as their "Teacher Tom pants," but in recent years I've become more proactive in replacing them the moment I begin to see that the end is neigh.

For most folks, this tiny hole would be of little concern. For them it would grow bigger and bigger over time, slowly, predictably, over the course of a year or more, but I know from experience that this tiny hole in my pants will grow to be a big hole within weeks -- a month at the most. This is because the children will innocently, but systematically and inevitably, tear it wide open.

And sure enough, yesterday, while I was sitting on my stool reading to the children, only hours removed from having discovered the spot myself, I felt a finger on my skin. A boy who had been leaning against my leg had absent-mindedly worked the thread-bare spot to a finger-sized hole through which he was caressing my kneecap. Later in the day as I sat cross-legged amidst a pile of stuffed animals another child found the hole, this time making it big enough for two of her fingers. Later, as the hole grows, whole hands will find their way in there.

The consumer in me would like to keep wearing these jeans awhile longer, but I don't scold the kids because what they are doing is not destructive, but rather a genuine act of love. I often joke that my torn jeans are my "church pants" because they are so "hole-y," and indeed it's no joke, they really are.

"The only way to get there's on your knees." ~Leonard Cohen

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1 comment:

Lisa said...

My jeans too -always the right knee.