From Grandpa John’s Journal


April 2008 - The four-year-old class would be entertaining their mothers at a luncheon on this late spring day. Round tables in the parlor next to the children’s classrooms were covered with table clothes in several spring colors. The bright colors continued in the placemats made by the children for their mothers. In the center were fresh, spring flowers. The little girls wore their prettiest dresses for this occasion. As McKinlee entered the classroom in her ankle-length dress, Kiara said, “You look like Mary Poppins,” and she did.


November 2008 - Jordon was drawing at an art center in the weekday preschool four-year-old class. As I stood nearby, she looked up and said, “Grandpa John, my little dog Jenny died.”

        I said, “I am sorry. What happened?”

        Jordon said, “Jenny and a big dog were let out together at the kennel. The big dog bit Jenny, and Jenny died. I miss Jenny, and so does my mommy. When Mommy talks on the telephone about Jenny, sometimes she cries.”


May 2009 - Zane, in the four-year-old class, looked up at me and said, “There was a car accident and a girl was hurt really bad. It was on TV. The helicopter came to get her. If they had not, she would have died.”

        I said, “I am glad they saved her.”

        Zane said, “The helicopter coming was smart thinking.”


February 2010 - The first thing the four-year-olds do as they enter the Asbury preschool classroom in the morning is pick up their wide-ruled sheet of paper and print their name. In the fall, the teacher had written their first name at the top in big letters. For the second semester, their last name is at the top for copying. Sitting at the table with the children to check their work and collect their papers, I told Cora, “You look nice in your pink striped dress.”

        Cora looked across the table at me and said, “I am not clashing any more.”

        I stopped to think for a moment about her use of a big word and then reasoned she likely picks her clothes to wear, and at some time in the past her mom had said, “Those colors clash.”


February 2010 – Miss Sue was trying to help the three-year-olds understand that they were born in Oklahoma. First, she pointed out two children who were born in Iowa. Looking into the children’s faces on the rug in front of her she asked, “Where were you born?”

        Jordyn raised her hand and said, “The pink building.”

        Miss Sue, Miss Jan, and I knew that she meant Saint Francis Hospital.

        Reign’s hand was up, so Miss Sue called on her.

        Reign said, “A doctor took me out of my mommy and washed me in the sink.”


February 2010 - My sister’s great grandson, Will, was being interviewed for readiness for kindergarten. The teacher asked, “Can you draw a circle?” Will said, “No.” Drawing with her pencil, the teacher asked, “Is this a circle?” Will said, “Actually, no. It’s an oval.”


February 2010 - As I left the sanctuary after the 9:15 service, I passed a boy scout holding a sign telling about an upcoming spaghetti dinner. Drawn to the uniform similar to one I had worn seventy years ago, I stopped to look at the boy. As I studied his smile, I said, “You are Rich Capps!”

        Rich replied, “Grandpa John” and held out his arms for a hug just like he had done so often as a three-year-old in my Asbury preschool class.

        After visiting for a moment, I turned and walked down the hall toward the north door and out to the parking lot. My step was lighter than usual as I thought about the miracle of a child who had so quickly become a handsome, mature boy.


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