Gordy is a very serious and somber child. He talks only when necessary. He studies everything carefully before he makes any moves or decisions. Lunch time is hard work. There is food to look over and sort. Stuff to eat and stuff to throw away. There is how the plate should sit on the table, and how the food should be arranged on the plate to consider as well. There is the fork and napkin to contend with. They should be beside the plate, with the fork on the napkin just so until everything is arranged for eating. The milk must be white, not chocolate. If chocolate milk arrives it must be returned to the kitchen for the proper color.
Once everything is arranged to his satisfaction, then it is time to eat. The milk is opened. The fork is carefully placed on the plate. The napkin is unfolded and arranged upon his knee. I am not a psychatrist, but I see emerging OCD — except these wonderful moments of joy slip in.
Today Kevin was absent, so Mr. Jim sat in his seat, which means that Mr. Jim sat next to Gordy. Mr. Jim was gifted with the job of cutting Gordy’s pizza into finger-sized wedges, except Mr. Jim cut it into bite-sized pieces! Oh my, that was just wrong! Then, Mr. Jim was enlisted to open the milk carton, but he didn’t just start the tear, he opened it all the way! Poor Gordy. He took this mishaps in sad stride, quietly reprimanding Mr. Jim then making the best of the culinary faux pas.
When lunch period was over and Ms. Jewls walked around the table with the waste bin on wheels. Each child was instructed to toss his or her rubbish in the bin — napkin, fork and milk carton. Then the food waste goes in a different bin and the trays are stacked to the side.
Mrs. Jewls approached Gordy. “Toss your rubbish,” she said. Jordy tossed his napkin, fork and milk carton. “Anything else?” Ms. Jewls queried. Gordy gifted her with one of his rare, bright and shining smiles that showcases every tooth in his head and his tonsils, too. He pointed at Mr. Jim.
“You want to toss Mr. Jim in the rubbish?” Ms. Jewls asked.
“Yes!” Gordy spoke clearly, nodding enthusiastically.
“Okay,” Ms. Jewls said. “Go ahead.”
Gordy studied Mr. Jim. Just one of the man’s arms is close to being Gordy-sized, then there’s the whole rest of him to contend with. Gordy grabbed Mr. Jim by the hand and lifted. “Ugh,” Gordy grunted. He turned back to Ms. Jewls, still grinning, his eyes dancing with joy, and said, “Help me, please.”
Ms. Jewls pulled on Mr. Jim’s other arm. Mr. Jim just sat there, letting them flap his arms around. Gordy looked at me. “You help, too, please.”
“Okay,” I said. I put my hands on Mr. Jim’s shoulder and pretended to push as hard as I could.
Mr. Jim said, “Ho hum,” and yawned. He covered his mouth with the hand Gordy was holding, easily lifting Gordy from his seat in the process.
“You know what,” Ms. Jewls said to a wide-eyed Gordy, “We may have to wait until you’re older and stronger to throw Mr. Jim away.”
Gordy nodded his head and let go of Mr. Jim’s wrist. He looked up at the big man and very seriously said, “Tomorrow.”