Posted by Danny
When DJ was young, she went through quite a clingy stage. She got that from her father. My mother says I was excited about first grade, until I got home from the first day. Mrs. Brayboy, my teacher, struck a classmate’s knuckles with a ruler because he was talking when he should have been listening. Needless to say, after that I did not talk. My pants could have been on fire and I wouldn’t have spoken in her class.
I can still see the fury in that lady’s eyes. She scared the hell out of me.
The next day my mom shoved me out of the house with my older brother for the one block walk to Glendale Acres Elementary school. One block from my house was a red fire hydrant. I grabbed that thing with all of my six-year-old might. “I’m not going!”, I wailed, my brother pulling on my waist to release my death grip. What if she got mad at me while holding a stapler, I wondered. This could be really bad.
It took my brother, two neighborhood kids and my mom to get me back to her classroom that morning. As I was towed onto the campus, my yelling immediately stopped. I feared if she heard me my knuckles would pay the price.
My protests continued from 3:30 pm until 8 am. Bottom line, Mrs. Brayboy and I weren’t a good match. My parents moved me to a private school for the remainder of the year.
In kindergarten, DJ would hold onto Lisa’s leg each day when they arrived at school and to my knowledge, her teacher did not beat her with school supplies. I couldn’t drop DJ off, it stirred up too many unpleasant memories for me.
This insecurity lasted, to some extent, for a couple of years. But that kid had something about her that stood out. Something that let me know the clingys wouldn’t last. And I was right.
Not only is DJ in the chorus for A Christmas Carol, but she is also Martha in the Cratchit family. She has a couple of lines and has to sing a song with the family in front of thousands of people! Not to mention, she tried out for and was chosen to be one of the dancers in another key scene in the play. That kid has talent (she gets that from her father).
I sure am a proud, proud daddy!