Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Twelve Days of Festivus: Day Two


Day Two: Grade One
Grade one was a good year for me. I had a really cool teacher (Mrs. Hammond), and good class (no tattlers), and Mr. Mugs to help me learn. But I ended up missing a lot of school. I had been particularly prone to bronchitis when I was a child, and it reared its ugly head several times during my first year of school. Usually, staying at home was preferable to going to school, even though I didn't mind school in grade one, but there was one time in which the last thing I wanted to do was miss school.

In the spring of 1985, the students of the school had a special treat. On the Friday of the week, the kids would get the afternoon off from learning and get to make tacos! I was very excited about the chance to make some tacos. So much in fact that I looked forward to it for weeks. Sadly, all that anticipation built up and built up to a point that the taco-making couldn't possibly live up to my expectations. Even more sadly, I never had the opportunity to find out.
I got sick just a day or two before it was time to make tacos. I was smashed to the floor by a bronchial infection and despite my best pleading, my mum wouldn't let me go to school. I was devastated. I wanted to make tacos so badly and I wouldn't get the chance. I'm sure I cried. And moped. And cried some more. But no one could do anything.
From time to time, someone comes into your life who touches you (metaphorically, you sickos) in a way that you remember forever. Mrs. Hammond was one of those people in my life. Mrs. Hammond had heard soon after about how disappointed I was that I didn't get to attend the school on the day of the taco-making. But rather than feeling sorry for me or patting me on my head in a "there there" fashion, Mrs. Hammond went up and above the call of the teacher.
About a week later, on the weekend, my mum insisted I come along with her to a dog show in which my mum had registered one of her dogs. I didn't really want to go but my dad was at work and I didn't have a choice. Little did I know there was more to mum dragging me to the show than I imagined. When we arrived at the dog show, Mrs. Hammond met us at the gate. Mrs. Hammond knelt down and smiled at me and told me that she had something planned for me. She took me into the dog show (my mum obviously being in on the plan) and walked with me to a food kiosk. At the kiosk, Mrs. Hammond bought tacos. However, when she got the tacos, they were served in pieces. Ingredients, if you will. The plan was obviously to allow me the opportunity to make my own taco since I missed the opportunity before. Mrs. Hammond and I put together our tacos and ate them at a picnic table. I was so happy that day. I got to make those tacos after all. Sure, it's a silly thing, but it was important to a six year old boy for some reason, and Mrs. Hammond and my mum pulled the strings to make sure I had the chance.
I'll never forget Mrs. Hammond for what she did. It was just a small gesture but it stayed with me forever.

The moral of this story is pretty straightforward. A little thought goes a long way. You never know when you might be able to make a difference to someone that will stick with them throughout their lives. So get out there and help a kid make a taco!

P.S. How many times did I say "taco" without making any sort of double entendre references (i.e. "bald taco" giggity)? Oh wait...too late. 

See you tomorrow for Grade Two!

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