Saturdays are my this and that day. Odds and ends. Typically, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning the house. Those sorts of things. Kim and I will relax in the afternoon. I’ll do some writing. Like I said, a this and that kind of day.
Yesterday was no different.
I was filling up my car with gas while a young man across from me was doing the same. Every now and then, he would smile at me. I nodded back. He finally asked if I was Mr. Lewis, the principal. I told him that yes, I was, but I had retired this past June.
He said, “You don’t recognize me, do you?” I responded, “No, I don’t. You look familiar, though.” He said, “My name is N_______ ______, and I know you remember that name.” I said, “Yes, I do. When did you graduate?” and he said, “2014.”
Now, my school graduated about 500 kids a year. 2014 was seven years ago, or approximately, 3,500 kids ago. Yet, I remembered his name.
He told me he had gotten suspended many times for fighting, popping off to teachers, “stuff.” Oh, I remembered! Yes, I surely did!
He told me that there was one thing I had said to him that had always stuck with him.
He said there was a meeting with his grandparents, his assistant principal, and me. It was during that meeting I had told him, “Your grandparents don’t deserve this. You can do better. You can make better choices, better decisions. If you aren’t willing to do it for yourself, look at your grandmother and your grandfather, and do it for them.”
It is something I might say to any kid who made a mistake. He remembered it, and this is what he had remembered from that meeting.
He was a good kid who had made poor choices. His grandparents loved him and wanted to help, but they needed some support. That happens. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I heard a parent or grandparent weep and say, “I don’t know what to do.” Heck, there were times as an administrator I felt the same way.
My philosophy has always been that all kids get it . . . eventually. Some get it sooner than others. Some get it later, hopefully before it gets too bad and before they get in too deep. But kids will get it.
It never paid to lose one’s mind over an action or a word. What good does it do? The kid did or said whatever he or she did. They know it. We know it. All that’s left is to apply a consequence, and hopefully learning comes from it. Hopefully.
What made my year and what brought a smile to my face and what warmed my heart was when he told me he had joined the marines, and that now he was a stockbroker.
Wow! Imagine that! He made my year!
A kid who fought, who walked the hallways angry and with a chip on his shoulder, a kid who was suspended repeatedly for violating this rule or that rule. A kid whose grandparents agonized over him and not knowing what to do or where to turn. A kid who finally woke up . . . not sure exactly when . . . but he woke up and turned into a seemingly fine young man. A smile on his face. A kid who seemed happy with life, with himself. This kid. Any kid. Really, all kids . . . eventually. Something to think about . . .
Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!
To My Readers:
The edits and revisions for the Lives Trilogy and Prequel are now complete! I am waiting to see the book covers. I am thankful to BRW for their continued belief in me and in my writing. I will keep you posted as to when they might be available for purchase on Amazon and on Barnes and Noble.
I Received a New 5 Star Review and Author Spotlight!
You can find the Review here:
and the Author Spotlight here:
Photo courtesy of Ben White and Unsplash