WNY Family Magazine October 2018 - Page 18

Daughter & d a D Dcuns by Patrick and J.L. Hempfing “The 5th Graders are Coming!” H istory. We can learn a lot from it. An inventor’s idea that proved success- ful. A leader’s decision that changed the world. Other stories where the nice guy, or gal, finished first.  Conversely, history includes wars, the Great Depression, and things we’d just as soon not have to explain to our children. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve shel- tered Jessie from select topics. Howev- er, as she reminds me, all the time, she is ten. My wife and I allow her to read the newspaper and can’t clip out all the sto- ries we wish her young eyes didn’t have to see. It’s better, though, to get an ex- planation of an upsetting current event from Mom or Dad than from a fourth- grade classmate. Still, my inclination is to wrap my arms around her, to fight her battles, and yes, to shelter her.  Battles and challenges closer to home can pop up any time. One day on the drive home from school, Jessie said the 4th graders (her class) were having trouble with some 5th grade boys inter- rupting their game at recess.  My first thought was, I’ll go to school tomor- row and you won’t need to worry about those fifth-grade bullies. Okay, I didn’t really think that, but my initial reaction 18 WNY Family October 2018 focused on “Dad to the rescue.”  I suggested that maybe she could gain the assistance of a fifth-grade girl, but finished the conversation with, “I’m sure you’ll work it out.” Jessie knows that tattling is not looked upon favor- ably, by her parents, teachers, or fellow classmates, so she felt she was in a bit of a tight spot. At this point, I’ll let Jessie share her story. Jessie, Age 10 Hi, all.  We’ve been having a little bit of a fight with some of the 5th graders at school this year. We get outside before them. When they get recess, they come tearing out to the four-square. Now, I don’t have anything against 5th grad- ers, but I don’t believe that they should ruin our game. I don’t mind if they join us, but they change the rules.  One 5th grader said, “You can spike the ball to the other 5th graders, but not to these little weaklings.” Day after day, the 5th graders took over until finally, one of my best friends and I made a plan for a protest. In So- cial Studies, we are learning about when American colonists were mad at the British for having to pay unfair taxes. That’s how all my friends and I feel. The 5th graders are forcing us to play by un- fair rules or quit. So the words that the colonists said were, “No taxation with- out representation.” We decided to come up with a protest to rhyme with that.  Finally, after some hard thinking, my friend said, “I’ve got it.” Though it was my friend’s idea, she didn’t want to join in the protest. So I, by myself, stood in the middle of the four-square game shouting,“No spiketation withou