Erica’s Birth Story
I’ve been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second-grade classroom a few years back. Usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it to school and talk about it, they’re welcome.
Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant. “This is Luke, my baby brother, and I’m going to tell you about his birthday. First, Mommy and Daddy made him as a symbol of their love, and then Daddy put a seed in my mother’s stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for 9 months through an umbrella cord.” She’s standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I’m trying not to laugh and wishing I had a video camera rolling. The kids are watching her in amazement.
“Then, about two Saturdays ago, my mother starts going, ‘Oh, oh, oh!'” Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. “She walked around the house for, like an hour, “Oh, oh, oh!” Now this kid is doing this hysterical duck-walk, holding her back and groaning. “My father called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn’t have a sign on the car like the Domino’s man. They got my mother to lay down in bed like this.” Erica lies down with her back against the wall. “And then, pop! My mother had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!”
The kid has her legs spread and with her little hands is miming water flowing away. It was too much!
“Then the middle wife starts going push, push, and breathe, breathe. They start counting, but they never even got past 10. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff they said was from the play-center, so there must be a lot of stuff inside there.”
Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I’m sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, if it’s show-and-tell day, I have my cellphone ready, just in case another Erica comes along.
REMINDER: 9pm is the time to remove your day pajamas and put your night pajamas on.
If you get an email that says “Find out what everyone is talking about in 2020” don’t open it – it’s a virus.
Dad’s Are US
Teacher (frustrated): “Look at this paper. How could one person make so many mistakes?”
Student (defensive): “It wasn’t one person – my dad helped!”
Word Of Mouse
– the grumpy cat? He was a sour puss.
– the silent cat? She was the victim of a purr snatcher.
– the psychic cat? He was adopted from the E.S.P.C.A.
– the dyslexic cat? He cried, “Woem, weom!”
– the cat who had eight kittens? She was an octopus.
– the cowardly felines? Their names were Scaredy and Fraidy.
– the cat who swallowed a duck? He was a down-in-the-mouth, duck-filled fatty puss.
– the cat who had a hair ball? She couldn’t hack it.
– the old cat who became forgetful and stopped making any sounds? She developed a purr-senility disorder.
– the adolescent cat? She pleaded with her parents, “Why don’t you let me lead one of my own lives?”
– the cat who liked to lounge around the stereo? He hoped to catch the tweeter for lunch, unless the woofer got him first.
– the cat who got hurt? She whimpered, “Me ow!”
– the cat who was walking the beach on Christmas Eve? He had Sandy Claws.
– the cat who ate some cheese and then sat by a mouse hole? She waited with baited breath.
– the radioactive cat? He had eighteen half-lives.
– the cat who caught a bird? He enjoyed a breakfast of shredded tweet.
– the fast cat? She put quicksand in her litter box.
– the cat who tried to find out why his humans forgot to place cat litter in his box? He didn’t have anything to go on.
– the teeny-tiny cat? She drank only condensed milk.
– the cat who loved to bowl? He was an alley cat.
– the cat who married a tree? They had a catalog.
– the cat who climbed the drapes? She had good claws to do it – and she started from scratch.
– the cat with chutzpah? He was a pushy cat.
– the cat who swallowed a bag of coins? There was money in that kitty.
– the obese, ill-tempered, talkative cat? He was a flabby, crabby, gabby tabby.
– the kindle of cats named Johann Christian, Wilhelm Friedemann, Johann Sebastian, and Carl Philipp Emanuel? They were all born in a litter Bachs.
– the man who was afraid of cats? He had catatonia, clawstrophobia, and purranoia.
– the woman who refused to spay and neuter her cats? She was arrested for kitty littering.
– the unemployed cat burglar from Nepal? What else can a Katmandu? (By Richard Lederer)
THE RICH FAMILY IN CHURCH
By Eddie Ogan
I’ll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy was 12,and my older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died five years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money.
By 1946 my older sisters were married and my brothers had left home. A month before Easter the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially.
When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering. When we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn’t listen to the radio, we’d save money on that month’s electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us babysat for everyone we could. For 15 cents we could buy enough cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1.
We made $20 on pot holders. That month was one of the best of our lives.
Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved. At night we’d sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.
The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change.
We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before.
That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn’t care that we wouldn’t have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering.
We could hardly wait to get to church! On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn’t own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn’t seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet.
But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their new clothes, and I felt rich.
When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us kids put in a $20.
As we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our fried potatoes! Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn’t say a word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills.
Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn’t talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor white trash. We kids had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn’t have our Mom and Dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the spoon or the fork that night.
We had two knifes that we passed around to whoever needed them. I knew we didn’t have a lot of things that other people had, but I’d never thought we were poor.
That Easter day I found out we were. The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be poor. I didn’t like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed–I didn’t even want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were poor!
I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew that we were poor. I decided that I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law required at that time. We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed. All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What did poor people do with money? We didn’t know. We’d never known we were poor. We didn’t want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we didn’t talk on the way.
Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse. At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun dried bricks, but they needed money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, “Can’t we all sacrifice to help these poor people?” We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week.
Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering.
When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100. The missionary was excited. He hadn’t expected such a large offering from our small church. He said, “You must have some rich people in this church.”
Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that “little over $100.”
We were the rich family in the church! Hadn’t the missionary said so? From that day on I’ve never been poor again. I’ve always remembered how rich I am because I have Jesus!