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Tomorrow, When I’m Bigger

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.”

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Aww!

    Last week I was listening to an interview with the boxer Evander Holyfield (why, I do not know…I don’t like boxing) and he said something that totally cracked me up…the first time he used the punching bag his coach was like:
    “Son, I think you become a world heavyweight champion” and E.H. told him that he was only 8. His coach pointed out that he would not be 8 forever….and E.H. said: “And I knew this was true because I was turning 9 the next week.”

  2. Tina — well, that would be a positive outcome.

    SN — E.H. is an excellent public speaker. I have heard him preach several times.

    OC — he’s already that type of kid. I keep wondering what he’s going to do to Mr. Jim today.

    Melli — he is trying to learn how to cross the monkey bars and I tell him frequently that he is growing up and getting bigger and stronger everyday. Apparently he believes me. I wonder for how much longer?

    Kat — well, one can hope, because even though he has his preferences, he can adapt if he doesn’t get them. He still ate his pizza and drank his milk.

    Nessa — messes don’t bother him unless they are his own, so the only way he’d clean your house is if he messed it up.

  3. Dr. John — there are a few I feel that way about now. Shhh …

    Polona — hopefully he will have outgrown his need to toss Mr. Jim in the garbage!

    Brig — that he does.

    UPDATE: Today at lunch time when Gordy paused to toss his rubbish away he stared at Mr. Jim for several moments.
    I said, “Is there anything else you want to throw away?”
    Gordy answered, “Not yet.”

  4. C-

    That was way cute. I am sure he is one of the bright spots in your day as well as others. It takes a very special person to be able to work with these special children.

  5. Angela — wow! I haven’t heard from you in some time. I’m glad you’re out and about. How’s life back home?

    It does take a special person to work with these kids and this year has taught me that I am not that person. Yes, I can do the job, and yes, I love these children, but I do not enjoy teaching the same thing over and over and over and over. If I did not work with a strong, loving, dedicated team, I would have deserted this post long ago. My colleagues keep me sane.

  6. From your description, I see OCD developing too. I hope that Gordy can learn to cope with things being “disordered”. It’s not fun having a person with OCD in your family. I know this from experience. It’s good to see he has a sense of humour, though.

  7. Mumma — Gordy only seems to fuss over his own things, and he does adapt if something goes wrong. His dad said the pediatrician thinks this is just a symptom of the divorce (controlling what he can). I am hoping it is one that sorts itself out.

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