My daughters have incredible role models – folks surrounding them who make them laugh and love life. Those who they respect. Those who through their actions show them how to live the kind of life Lisa and I would want them to live.
There is Mrs. Balentine, the former cheerleading coach, who still takes DJ to lunch on occasion. And Profe – the Spanish professor who she loves to death but who also just gave her an 18 on her pop quiz (she’s a great student, she’ll pull it up). She didn’t argue with him, said it was pointless. She also didn’t get mad at him, because of respect.
Michelle has Betty Anne Doorman, the same Sunday School teacher who taught her mother in 5th grade. And her best friend’s mom who thinks she hung the moon.
Steph has Mrs. Bond and Aunt Sallie who dote on her endlessly.
When I was a kid, I lived at church. My dad was a minister – and we LIVED in that building. Mr. Lundy was my 5th grade Sunday School teacher, and I distinctly remember climbing under the table during the lesson and tying his shoes together. At the time I thought he didn’t know I was doing it – now I know better.
And Miss Patty taught us in high school. She was a bit older than my mother and one week wore her leotard and grass skirt to class. She’d been taking Jazzercise with the other ladies in the Baptist church gym, and she wanted us to see her moves. Talk about motivation to attend! You never knew what she was going to do.
Mrs. Brayboy was one of my favorite high school teachers – typing. I called her DMB – for Dumb Miss Brayboy. Another, much cooler, guy in class called her that one day, and she sent him to the office.
“Why does Danny get to call you that and not get in trouble?,” he protested.
“Because I like him,” she explained.
To her credit, he was an ass – always.
If we’d each pour a little bit of ourselves into the next generation, it’s amazing what we’d get in return – both individually and as a society.
I can’t do this on my own. Others are investing in my kids with everything they’ve got. One day, they’ll look back and realize that these selfless folks made them who they are. They’ll be a beautiful concoction of their mother and their father and Mrs. Balentine and Aunt Sallie and Betty Ann Doorman – and no doubt will have a small piece of Brayboy in their blood as well. Because she, is a piece of me.