Thursday, April 17, 2014
It all started the day before when the Twins That Are Not Twins asked if I had gotten my wife a present. Being a man I was not sure if I had forgotten some national holiday or if I had forgotten a personal day and my wife had made some calls to put the word out. I informed them that I had not gotten my wife a present. Immediately I was verbally attacked in stereo with, "How come?" and "Why not?" Being of the female gender they followed the criticism with gifting advice. "Mr. Brandon, it's not that hard if you can't buy anything just go into her room and find a ring or necklace that she is not wearing put it in a box or bag and give it to her as a present." They said they did that to their mom all the time and it worked just fine. The next day they felt they needed to follow up on our conversation and asked again, "Did you get your wife a present?" I had to answer, "No" again. So they started in, "Mr. Brandon, just find any little thing with a hole in it, run a string through it, and you have a necklace." They finished with, "Come on big man you need to do something." Personlly when I get a chance I'm checking my wife's phone history to see who she has been calling.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
The second grader stepped onto the bus with all the confidence and resolve of a modern day Meriwether Lewis. He was dressed in cargo shorts with the standard one hundred and fifty pockets filled with the items needed for a grueling trek across the vast wilderness. His t-shirt extended well below his waist line and he wore a black dress belt around his waist. Not in the loops of his pants just around his waist on top of the t-shirt. On the belt there was a small nylon pouch. He stepped beside me and with the sound of Velcro being parted he produced a compass from the small pouch. He held it out for me to see and informed me, "I will be keeping us on track today." He looked at the compass with a concentration that is only known by those who realize that the lives and safety of innocent people are in their hands. He pointed down the road and said, "That direction is," there was a momentary pause as he found his bearings, "that direction is, that away." So we went, that away. He looked at me shrugged his shoulders and said, "Hey, I looked at the directions and they looked hard so I'm not exactly sure how this thing works yet." Lucky for us the school was due, that away, from where we were.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Pride is a tricky thing. We encourage our children to take pride in their work and then we warn of the downfall of being too prideful. We brag on our kids and tell them how proud we are of them and then point out those that are too full of themselves. It is a slippery slope. Yet there are moments where you know you have achieved something that is at the pinnacle of its type. I don't think Michelangelo after he finished the statue of David said, "Oh just slide it over in the corner some place." And I'm pretty sure when he finished the Sistine Chapel he said the Italian equivalent of , "Get on some of that!" So I was not at all surprised when a fourth grade boy proudly told me of an accomplishment that could not help but bring pride and respect in the rank and file of young men everywhere. With a gleam in his eyes and pride in his voice he said, "Mr. Brandon, I just burped, farted, and sneezed all at the same time."
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Mr. Mucus was excitedly telling about a big event coming up. A special dinner with his Boy Scout troop called the Blue and Gold dinner. He described it as a dinner that family is invited to so the young men who have been in scouts that year can be honored. He was quite excited. He paused and then said, "Mr. Brandon, I would like for you to come. I mean you are a big part of my life." In my mind I thought yes Kindergarten, First Grade, First Grade again, because as he puts it he was not quite ready to move on, and now we are nearing the end of Second Grade. One year alone, I had to clean up the bus over twenty times from him getting sick. He has shared his imagination with me. From him being a secret agent to conversations he has had with his wife over the phone. He has shown me his awesome dance moves and given advice on how to drive the bus route. Yes he has been a big part of my life also. He then put his hand on my shoulder and said, "I mean, I love you like a brother, man." There are some things that make you laugh and smile all at the same time. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones (Proverbs 16:24).
Thursday, April 3, 2014
On a rather cloudy day the second grader entered the bus. After the usual morning pleasantries he moved to his seat. Before he sit down he opened his book bag and pulled something out. In a moment he was sitting as any student should with the exception that he was now wearing a skate board helmet. So I asked, "Hey, what's that all about?" "Well, I read that in a tornado a skate board helmet can protect your head and I just want to be ready," he replied. There was a quiet discussion between him and the other students around him. I was sure it was about his dilligence in making others aware of the possibilities of weather safety. Then with a puzzled look on his face he asked, "Mr. Brandon, what's a nit-wit?" My reply, "Most of the people on this bus."