On Lollipops, Old Men and Being Led Down a Dark Path

The other day, M. and I bought our first 2007 bag of Caramel Apple Lollipops. We both look forward to these lollies, since we only find them in the fall. They’re green apple flavored lollipops dipped in caramel. They’re so good, even though they stick to your teeth.

We sat on the couch, each enjoying our fresh-out-of-the-bag lollipops, until Emmie came in. Since she usually loves to eat anything we’re eating, she took a great interest in seeing what we were oohing and ahhing over. Marty held out his pop and, well . . . she loves them now, too.

For nearly ten minutes, Emmie licked and licked and licked some more. M. got tired of holding the pop, so I took over and M. went to get himself a new one.

Emmie seemed to know when to say when. She stopped licking and took a serious bath. I saved her lollipop for her in a baggie.

****

This morning, I stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee on my way to school. Nearly every time I go there, I see the old men. There’s four of them. Each man sits at his own table – they never sit together. Each man sits facing toward the counter – they never face each other. They do, however, talk to each other. I love to eavesdrop on their conversations. Here’s what I overheard this morning:

“The girl, Wendy, is 40. And the kid – he’s only 34. “

“Really?”

“Yeah, the kid’s only 34.”

“Wendy is 40?”

“Yeah, Wendy is 40.”

“Wendy or Windy?”

“Wendy.”

“Windy?”

“No. Wendy.”

“Wendy?”

“W-E-N-D-Y. Wendy.”

“Not Windy?”

“No. Wendy”

“Not W-I-N-D-Y?”

“No. W-E-N-D-Y.”

“Wendy.”

“Right. Wendy.”

“But Windy would be a nice name.”

I laughed all the way to school. I love those guys.

****

Yesterday in school, my students and I read an article called, “Fresh Start in Africa.” It was about a boy named Brandon who grew up in a rough area of Baltimore. He was getting into a lot of fights and getting bad grades. Neither his mom nor his school could handle him. Brandon was put into a special program for troubled boys that sent him to a boarding school in Africa. After a tough start, he turned himself around and lived happily ever after. (Did you doubt this? We wouldn’t have read it if it didn’t end this way!) In the article, we read that Brandon learned that he couldn’t be a “ringleader or a follower.”

I asked my kids if they knew what it meant to be a ringleader. A hand went up, but the girl described the job of a ringmaster at the circus. (Good try!)

Me: Now think. He’s a troubled boy – a boy who gets into trouble. A ringLEADER. What might a troubled boy try to LEAD others to do?

A boy: Ooh ooh! He would lead others to do bad things.

Me: You’ve got it.

A girl: A ringleader leads other people to do stuff.

Me: Ding ding ding ding!

(An adorable front-toothless boy raises his hand.)

Front-toothless boy: Could you also say that he leads others down a dark path?

(My jaw dropped.)

Me: Absolutely! That’s a great way to put it. You have a way with words.

(Cute boy smiles and giggles.)

Me: I can tell that you’re going to be a great writer in 3rd grade this year.

Front-toothless boy: Nah. That’s from Star Wars.

(I love my job.)

****

I knit a little.

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3 Responses to “On Lollipops, Old Men and Being Led Down a Dark Path”

  1. costumechick Says:

    DUh duh duh, duh duh, duh, duh, duuuhhhh.

    That’s me singing Star Wars.
    I think those old men are required by law to sit at Dunkin DOnuts. They are in every single store. oddly, the conversations are about the same, no matter which old men they are….

  2. Jen Says:

    Kids now a days get smarter and smarter.

  3. acambras Says:

    Everyone knows it’s Windy…

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