9.23.2010

i remember max part 3...

This is part of a story that started Tuesday - please start from the beginning here and scroll up, thanks.

The school where I was teaching was filled with mostly upper middle class families. Also, many fairly wealthy but for the most part, upper middle. There were a few students who came from families not in these two groups. These were families the church sponsored for one reason or another (Catholic School). Max was from one of these families. As far as I knew, Max had a brother, a mother and not much of anything else.

Sometimes I would wonder how his mother could send him to school in an obviously not washed uniform and with no lunch. I would ask myself how she could not know he was coming to school hungry because he had eaten no breakfast and brought no lunch. The cafeteria ladies let him "swing by" every morning for a snack and he was not asked for a ticket in the lunch line. I would remind myself she was probably doing the best she could as a single working mother with 2 sons and she did go through the effort of getting him into this "better" school and I comforted myself with that.

Still, at times, I wondered what his home life was like. I had 36 children in my classroom so letting my mind wander about Max was a luxury time did not often afford. To make myself feel better, I paid the dues and bought him a uniform so he could join boy scouts. I secretly bought Max a new bike when his was stolen. I asked him to "look out for Daniel" (the smallest boy in class) on the playground. You know what? He did. He really did. I didn't have much more trouble with him than some of the other students and I felt perhaps I was making a difference in Max's life. Still, he rarely spoke.

"Happy Birthday" he said and walked away.

"What could possibly be in here?" I thought as I opened up that wad of tissue.

The final part of this story will post tomorrow. I'm finally going to open that tissue I promise!

18 comments:

Debby said...

Wow, this is really good... is it a true story? I am dying to see what was in the kleenex!!!! xo

Maria said...

Max's background paired with that picture really (plus your fantastic writing skills) have me on the edge of my seat! Can not wait to hear the rest of this story - and SO hoping for a lovely ending! (The things handed to me in tissues by my boys are NEVER anything pleasant! ;-D)

willow said...

I can't wait to find out what was inside. My heart is breaking for Max.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Yes Debby, true story - started on Tuesday and will finish tomorrow. The kleenex "reveal" is tomorrow.

kroney said...

God bless him, I hope he is having a wonderful high school experience! I know he'll never forget his second grade teacher.

Cashon&Co said...

ok, you can NOT, i repeat, CAN NOT, leave us on a cliffhanger like that of which i know is going to be a tear jerker.
first, you're a GREAT story teller, but I think i've said that to you before!
I can totally relate to this story already. I briefly taught 5th grade (for one year) and had a student Lewis like this. He would be 22 years old right now, I often wonder where he is. I wonder where all of them are now today, as young adults. I should go on facebook probably and look at their picture. wouldn't that be something!!! can't wait to here the conclusion. i'll bring out my tissue i'm sure.
xoxo K

bronwyn said...

I have such a soft spot in my heart for misunderstood kids. I love that he looked out for the smallest boy.

Nicole said...

ok I have goosebumps and am dying to know the rest!

Stacey said...

Oh, i so enjoyed reading this, and now i can't wait for the follow up! Maybe you'll post again later this evening?:-) xx

MJM said...

Can't wait to hear how you tell the end!

Jude said...

What a lovely post filling-in just a bit more of the Max puzzle. I would've loved having a teacher like you back in grade school :) And I can't wait for the rest of the story!

shari @ little blue deer said...

Teachers can make such a difference. It just goes to show that you can do the smallest thing for someone and they will never forget it! XX!

Phoenix Peacock said...

I see too many kids like Max every day. And I have found that the less people have the more generous they usually are. I can't wait to see what Max left you.

Andrew H. said...

Well done. I'm really enjoying reading this.

It would be fun to do some looking around on Facebook or something to see where some of the kids are today.

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Tell, tell tell!
Have a happy first day of Fall, Jeanette xxx

rockinj9designs said...

Have you Hugged a teacher today?I'm so glad my children go to a school where the teachers are still welcomed to give their little darlins a hug-and they wear uniforms-and it's a public school.God Bless America

pamela said...

i am perplexed!

Molly said...

I'm so glad I read this after you had posted all four parts!! I'm headed to read the last one now.

This is fantastic!