Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

“My impish nine year old had a bit of the soothsayer in him.”

It was the middle of February and I was daydreaming how nice it would be to spend a week or two in sunny California.

It was a particularly miserable winter in Chicago, and I yearned to get out of town.  My wife had called a few minutes earlier and alerted me to a problem our youngest boy was having in school.

Turns out he was in trouble with the same teacher again, and we wondered if he was alienating her or perhaps she somehow had it in for our boy.  After all, Dustin was a quiet kid who wouldn’t hurt a fly, and he was the last person we’d thought who would cause trouble.

When I returned home that night, Dustin and I had a “man to man” talk, and I was shocked by what he told me.  My impish nine year old had a bit of the soothsayer in him.  It seems he was constantly interrupting the teacher by shouting out the answer before she opened her mouth to ask the question.

I told my wife about this, and after having a good laugh, we thought it best to ask Dustin’s teacher if this was indeed true.  Well, it turns out that Mrs. Miller was at her wits end because she said our kid somehow was getting “into her head” and would interrupt her time and time again with something she was about to say.

Fortunately, Mrs. Miller had a good sense of humor, and she admitted she wished she had Dustin’s ability to read minds.  She said Dustin was a good boy and she’d figure out how to cope with his “talent.”

She also told me something about Dustin that I’ll never forget.  A few days earlier, he had shouted out “fire drill” only a second before the alarm rang.  Mrs. Miller said the school principal had alerted her that there would be a fire drill that day but hadn’t informed her of the exact time.  “Apparently,” she said, “I should have asked Dustin.  He would have told me.”

R. McGurthy
Tucson, AZ

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