I have this vision of being on line to get into Heaven. An angel is standing at the gate. She says, “Do you recognize this?” And she holds up one of those little yellow plastic corn cobs with prongs at the end.
And I say, “Yes. I know what those are.”
She asks, with tender severity, “Why did you need these?”
And I respond, “Because… melted butter?”
With great pity and love, she says, “Go to the back of the line.”
On my Facebook page the other day I noted that some wag on Twitter had announced that New York City was so “over” as America’s greatest city. I heart New York forever and I personally found the suggestion that NYC is “over” a ridiculous one, but I thought it would be fun to take nominations for America’s greatest city. I got 60 comments, but the Rev. Jake Morrill kept weighing in on behalf of his city, Knoxville, TN.
You gotta see this.
I don’t know how old I was — maybe second grade? I had gotten really good at reading and spelling and was feeling very proud of myself. Then one day my mom or my teacher corrected my pronunciation of “nonchalant.” What? Non. ChALENT. I am a good reader! I sound out my words correctly all the time now! What is this non-sha-lahnt business? Are you pulling my leg?
No, she was not, the Corrector informed me. The word was French, and required a French pronunciation.
I remember feeling totally defeated.
I will never, ever get this. There are too many words. And some of them don’t follow the rules. There are too many languages. How many more of this kind of thing is out there? I bet millions. I am screwed.
For some reason tonight I remember this and I think of children in school, and how hard it is.
Bless our schoolchildren, God. Help us to be patient and encouraging with them. Help us to remember how hard it was, how easy to get overwhelmed and defeated.