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Chips off the ol’ Block

Chips off the ol’ Block

Chips off the ol’ Block

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Walking in the hallway of the school one morning I was approached by Abigail in grade 4. I asked “What’s new with you?”  “Nothing” she commented, sporting a grin from ear to ear, “…but I know what’s new with you!” “Really?” I replied, with guarded curiosity. “So…” I said, “…tell me. What’s new with me?” Gently taking my hands in hers like a parent might do to comfort a child, and as if to brace me for what is about to come, she looked up at me and said, “You have a big coffee stain on the front of your nice white shirt!”


I try. I really do try to stay clean and not spill, or be sloppy, or make a mess of things, including myself. But I admit that I am gifted with the clumsy gene. And I am gifted with children who keep me humble by telling me the hard truth, often with irreverent enthusiasm and great delight.

Kate celebrated her eleventh birthday the other day, and brought cupcakes to school to share with her class. She was kind enough to bring me one as well. I said, “Kate, you are getting old!” She replied, “Yeah, but never as old as you!”

Evan in grade 2 recently handed me a piece of paper with some home-made math addition questions on one side and some printing exercises on the other. “These are for you,” he said. “You need to do some homework.” I guess he thought it was time to share the load.  Not fair that only the kids have to take work home.  

I diligently completed all the math questions and did the printing. I then called him into my office to see what grade he would give me. The very first thing he noticed and called to my attention was that I had not finished all of the printing exercises, and worst of all, I had not put my name at the top of the paper. He told me that I get an ‘F’ and as my consequence I was required to write my name not once, but five times!

I asked him why he thought I needed homework too. He said, “Because all you do is sit in your office all day playing games on the computer.”

(Another sigh!)

Thank God for children. They prevent us from taking ourselves too seriously.

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