Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Another School Year: Once More Unto the Breach

The start of school is imminent and I am filled with dread and anxiety.  How will I parent my children through another year of High School? This time of year always used to be one of parental joy as I released my children joyfully to the care of their teachers for seven glorious hours a day. Now the first Wednesday after Labor Day marks the onset of an unpredictable campaign of seemingly overwhelming odds comprised of rocky social terrain, precipitous homework climbs, fractious wake up battles and extra-curricular pressures which seem to exist solely to beef up the mole hill's status. I'm sure there are parents among you who feel the same; who fear the future and the unknown perils that lie ahead. This year I truly feel I might not have the strength for this; I am a coward who's chief desire is a full on retreat into denial and familiarity.

I am a mother in need of a locker room speech. So I will seek strength and resolve in the original locker room speech, from Shakespeare's Henry V, St. Crispin's day.

Do not click away for fear of esoteric literary pontification. You must know me better than that.  No, I beseech you lie in wait as I lower the dignity and majesty of Shakespeare's verse to fit my puny insignificant anxiety.

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
(The first Wednesday past Labor Day will do, 
for this irreverent bastardizing
of the Bard of Avon's hallowed verse)
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
(When all are put to bed and wine is poured)
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
(Or shall I clarify, reach older age,
As each year brings more wrinkles
faster than Loreal can erase )
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
(Shouting "we did survive another year!)
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
(To psyche and self-confidence alike)
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
(And, frankly since the day that thou wast born)
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
(Unless thou art a teen who holds a grudge
for future guilt and bribery anon)
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day
(Like refraining from crushing the XBox)
Then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
(Yes all those names will show up on the test)
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd
(Let's face it they will be forgotten e'er
Ink has dried on said wretched exam)
This story shall the good man teach his son:
(Unless his son tells him to fucketh off)
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
from this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
(Unless you have a name like Salisbury)
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
(Oh shit that's right he has to practice vi'olin)
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
(For the love of all that's holy take a sho'wer
E'en don some Axe body spray, I beg you please)
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
(Get up! Get up! the bus has come and gone!)
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
(I'll take being accursed if only it will mean
I can escape this den of teenage angst)
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
(Assuming thou and I art still speaking)
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
(June cannot cometh soon enough for me!)

My apologies Mr. Shakespeare.

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