Wednesday, March 12, 2008


The Peace Man. That's what my daughter calls him. Apparently he's a neighborhood fixture, the guy who gives the peace sign to the kids as they go to and from the bus stop. My daughter told me he has kids. Which was good, because my initial response was to not be thrilled about a man who sat by his window flashing hippie signs to the innocents passing by. The other day, my daughter said her friend told her that the Peace Man had been arrested. A couple of times. My reaction was more subdued. Elementary school rumor? or neighborhood scandal? Talk amongst yourselves.

And then there's the little girl in my daughter's kindergarten class, who, my daughter casually let me know one day, shows the same thing for show & tell, over and over again. Her coat. I ask my daughter about the coat. I want to imply in the same casual way, that it is perfectly okay to show a coat each time for show and tell. My daughter says sure, it's fine. The girl gets up to show her coat and the kids ask her the same questions about that coat every time. It's a little class ritual.

But I wonder about that little girl. Does she not have any toys she can show to the class? Is her coat the one thing she really is proud of, maybe the only new thing she has? Or maybe she just really likes her coat. Or she perpetually forgets that it's her day for show & tell, and so she shows her coat, because one has to have something to show. But I worry a little bit for her. Just like I wonder a little bit about the Peace Man.

How much of these little stories that circle around in my head are true? How much of them are figments of imagination, mine and a class full of 6 year-olds? To be sure, I know nothing about either of these individuals; the man who greets the little kids down the street, the girl who has no original show and tell. I hope that the narratives that suggest themselves are not wholly true, but that they are just two people who have happy, somewhat uneventful lives; lives like mine, that are benefited by an occasional made-up story in the mind, but more benefited by the lack of those little stories.


  1. Kids do make you wonder about people. Are they ok? safe? happy? Do they have enough stuff?

    You could literally write a book about all the things you could wonder about those two folks. :)

  2. I am a gray bearded man who has been called a hippie who gives children the peace sign. I shall inform your Mom that she should let you know we are alright. Ha ha
    At any rate, in todays world it good to wonder, it brings enlightenment