Put Some South in Your Mouth!

Justin had his first real homework assignment last week. Correction: GWE did Justin’s first real homework assignment for him last week. As we all know, it’s a slippery slope – you do one assignment for your kid in pre-school and 12 years later you find yourself robbing a bank to pay “Sleazy Larry” for the SAT answers the night before the test. It’s not pretty.

Week by week, all of the kids in Justin’s class had been doing presentations (with visual aids) on their “culture.” Some kids talked about which country they were from, some talked about their family’s religion, and some talked about living in a home where their culture revolved around sports. GWE decided that Justin’s culture would be “Southern Cuisine.” And, since we had just returned from Atlanta with bunches of brochures and plates from the Coca-Cola Museum and hats from The Varsity and The Waffle House, we had plenty of souvenirs for Justin’s class.

I will spare you the boring details for how everything came together. What GWE and I were surprised to discover was that Justin is a Master Orator! He had no problem standing in front of his class to make his presentation. With the excitement and vigor of a Soapbox Preacher extoling the virtues of Heaven, Justin began to tell his class of the magical place called “ATLANTA.” It is the home of Papa Jeff and Grandma Penny! It has an aquarium with whales! It also has a place called The Waffle House that serves – WAFFLES! The more he spoke about his culture, the more animated he became.

Once everyone had their hats on and were in their seats, Justin provided everyone with GWE’s Southern favorite – raisin toast with apple butter! In five years, that was the quietest I had ever heard any classroom at Justin’s school. Silently, little “munchkins” munched on their treats. When they were done, they all hailed Justin for making their day better and sweeter!

I went back to the school to pick up Justin (and Garrett) later that afternoon. As I sat in the car, I watched kids leave the classroom. They were still wearing their Varsity hats…SEVEN HOURS LATER. Clearly, Justin’s presentation made an impact and I could see that he clearly felt very good about himself.

When GWE returned home, she asked Justin if he had a good day. In an effort to get a “thank you” from her son for all of her hard work, GWE specifically asked Justin what the best part of the day was. He thought about it for a moment and said, “Nap time!”

“No, no, no,” she said, while still looking for some recognition of her contributions. “What was the BEST part of your day today?”

He thought about it again for a few more seconds and replied, “I really liked Nap Time today!”

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