My daughters came to me earlier this week and asked me to grace them with my presence at Donuts for Dad at school on Thursday. Of course it meant that I’d have to get out of bed a few minutes earlier and then brave the halls of Colt Elementary, but why not, it’s donut day with my little angels. Truth be told, I’ve been to this function every year and know that I’m about to be suckered into buying books and promising to attend “Science Night”. Not a problem!
The donuts were wonderful and the time I spent with the girls was even better. I’m blessed to be able to take them to school every morning and pick them up in the afternoon. Simply put: Life IS Good!!! I walked my girls to their classrooms and made my way back to the front door, saying my goodbyes along the way. Stopping at the front desk, I noticed one little boy standing at the front door of the school, barely as tall as the push bar on the door, staring out the door. He was obviously nervous. . . maybe down trodden would be a better term, but his desperation was overwhelming and could not be overlooked by anybody within 30 feet of him. He held to the door, would occasionally turn and look around him, and then his eyes would return to the parking area outside. “He’ll be here in a minute”. . . HUH??? What’d he say. . . “He’s always later”. . . I turned towards one of the teachers who was standing on the other side of the office counter, her eyes were full of tears. . . The AP mumbled “this isn’t the first time, somebody really needs to talk to his father”. I approached the boy, not knowing what to say, maybe to just make that connection, maybe to ease my mind, maybe. . . who knows, but I did. He turned his back to me and I heard him cry “he’s coming, he’ll be here in a minute, he’s just running late”. I glanced back at the office staff, the teachers, and the AP. The tardy bell rang. . . it was over. Donuts for Dad was over. He clutched the push bar, swinging his drooping head from side to side, mumbling now, much softer. . . incomprehensible. Again, I turned to the staff and AP, they were blurry from the tears in my eyes. . . “Y’all get this boy a donut”.
Most of us that live in Small Town America do so because we believe we’re safer here, that things will always be the way they were when we were growing up. Our neighbors are friends, not just “the guy who lives down the street”, our kids play together and go to church together, and our lives as individuals are intertwined with the community we live in. We know each other, we watch out for each other, and we take care of each other. On days like this, we cry together too.
I left the school yesterday, proud of the fact that I had donuts with my daughters and that I’m involved in their day to day lives. I’m proud to live in the Texas Hill Country, where the AP of the elementary school will take the time out of his morning, after the tardy bell has tolled, and take 1 small child down to the cafeteria and spend a few minutes with him, eating a donut, and letting him know that there are men in his life who care. To be associated with people who don’t just stand there and talk about helping, they just do it. We don’t just live in the same community, WE are the community and we live together as one. Bad things happen, but that doesn’t mean that good things don’t come out of it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. . . And the real estate market in Marble Falls and the surrounding Hill Country is good. . . but truth be told, I don’t feel like going into that right now. . . Peace – Jem