Redford gets so excited about the treat that he’ll get when he loads up into the car that sometimes he doesn’t wait for me to open the door before he tries to jump in. He’s so pretty.
This morning, he did just that, and while I was fretting over his noggin, I dropped Violet’s leash. She seized the opportunity to sprint toward the road, which of course made me freak out and run after her. And then I remembered. That’s her game. As long as you chase her, she’ll run. So I turned my attention back to my retarded son. Sure enough, Violet came strolling back up the driveway and jumped in the car.
I was reminded of this kid, Michael, who I had my third year teaching in NY. He was a handsome little guy, always in uniform: navy pants, yellow button-down, navy tie. (Some public schools in NY—mostly low socio-economic schools—opt to be uniform schools.) Smart too. But Michael was a desk-thrower. And he cursed A LOT. He’d have these fits where I’d have to evacuate the rest of the kids from the class and let him wreck the joint. And sometimes he’d get mad and leave the classroom. The first few times I ran after him. I was worried he might hurt somebody or run out in the street and get hit by a bus or something. About the fifth time, I don’t know, the novelty had worn off maybe, and it took me a little longer to follow him. When I got into the hall, he was peeking back through the double doors to make sure I was coming. That’s when I realized, he didn’t want to run away; he wanted to be chased. Dogs and fourth-graders, man.
P.S. I used to talk to Michael’s grandmother every day after school. One Monday, I went out to tell her that he had a GREAT day. I told her, “He was calm and focused. He didn’t curse or have any tantrums. He did all his work.” She said, “Yeah, he started anti-psychotic meds on Saturday.”