In elementary school growing up in Carson City there was a young man by the name of Jonathan. He had a “Bah-ston” accent and dressed in collared button downs. This is in third grade. Who dresses their kids in collared button downs in third grade. Jonathan had a peculiar way about him and did not fit in with the other kids. This coming out of my mouth is comical in itself. I fit in as well as a square peg in a round whole when I was younger. Nerdlier than nerdly myself my hero was Mr. Spock (yes, I can still do a Vulcan salute) and one of my more common responses was “that’s not very logical”. You get the picture.
But Jonathan had this particular habit that I remember. Whenever he was TOUCHED he would fly across the playground screaming “WHOOOOAAAA” as though he had been thrown off the highest of cliffs and he would “bounce” off of any nearby object whether they be walls, other people or playground equipment. Kids would do this in the most dramatic of ways approaching him slowly with their finger extended like you do when you know you are going to get a FANTASTIC static electric shock because when the “touch” actually happened, you knew there was going to be a show. Now when I think about this happening I have the visual of an Oompa Loompa spinning like a top bouncing off bumpers in a pinball machine. I now feel bad for Jonathan. Obviously he had even more issues than the rest of us at that age.
My oldest son Jacob has made it nearly through high school and next year Braedyn will be entering kindergarten and Emily a couple years after that. I think about how my two youngest will get along with the other kids when they start school and often I think about poor Jonathan and how he was made fun of almost every day. He has entered my mind every day now for the last four months. Why you ask? Was I the bully who relentlessly “touched” Jonathan’s shoulder to make him pinball around the playground? No, but I was there and laughed.
Each night now, my daughter asks me to let her “Kiss Me Whoa.” This is a ritual we have been practicing for about four months now. (yes, four months, coincidence? I think not). It goes like this.
Emily is tucked in bed. Mom and dad are SOOO ready for their box wine. Emily says “Kiss me whoa daddy!”. I lean in and I present my RIGHT CHEEK to her puckered lips. It MUST be the RIGHT CHEEK or I will be punished with pouting and “NOOO DADDY!!!”.
She will then grab my face, kiss my right cheek, then turn my head to kiss my left cheek. During this kiss the face is squeezed, her lips are pressed hard against my face because she is getting ready to fire me out of the cannon. I will of course have to predict the moment of the end of the kiss and …
then I will scream “WHOOOOAAAA” as though I have been thrown off the highest of cliffs and “bounce” off of any nearby object whether they be walls, children's toys or dogs. I put on my best impression of an Oompa Loompa spinning like a top bouncing off bumpers in a pinball machine until I have made it out the door and out of her line of site.
Jonathan, I hope you read this and realize you have the last laugh.