Sunday, April 22, 2007



One day in kindergarten our teacher, Miss Grace, she of the smily face, said, "Who wants to play pretend?" Every kid did except just one, hostile, troubled lad. She called on the girl with the cute little curl waiving excitedly. "Let's play family," she said. "I'll be mom and.. ."

The boy jumped up and said defiantly, "I'll be dad!"

About half the class started to laugh. Miss Grace silenced them with the slap of her hand. "I don't understand," she said.

"Because he ain't got no dad! Never had!" The children pointed at the boy mockingly.

"So what," said Tommy angrily. He held his hands over his ears to drown out the jeers and ran, sobbing from the room. "Shame on all of you!" the teacher said. She was mad not so much at the class as at herself. She'd failed to see there had to be a reason for Tommy's hostility.

When she looked at Tommy he hung his head. His eyes were red, filled with tears. "Talk to me," she said.

"It ain't so. I had a pa. Now he's dead, Died the night I was borned." He mumbled, stumbled on a word seldom heard from one so young. "They said he'd did suah-cide. Why'd he do that, Miss Grace? Kids said their mom told them I weren't his kid. And the preacher said he'd done a sinful thing an' would burn in hell. What did he do so bad? Ain't killin' yerself the worstest sin my dad could do?"

Miss Grace did not know what to say. She held Tommy and prayed the tears would go away.


Post a Comment

<< Home