Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Patriot

At the end of each school day, Harrison comes to my classroom from the Primary campus. We sit and talk about what happened in his class with his friends and the things he learned that day and perhaps what he ate for lunch, of sailing ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. I enjoy my time with him—he’s such an earnest little creature, it’s hard not to love hearing him describe the events of his day.

My favorite ritual of late is saying the Pledge with him. Most days, after my students have left in a large, braying herd, Harrison will look around and eventually see my American and Texas flags hanging at the front of the room. Whatever I’m doing, when I see him notice them, I always smile to myself because I know what’s coming next. The script is almost always the same with few variations:

“Mommy, we need to say our American Flag!” He always emphasizes the American part.

“Oh, yeah, I almost forgot! Thank you, Harrison, for reminding me that we need to say our Pledge!”

We stand up, place our hands over our hearts and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, very solemn, very serious.

“Now the Texas flag, Mommy!”

So we turn and recite the Texas Pledge.

I asked him the other day if he didn’t say the Pledge in his Kindergarten classroom. “We do say the American Flag in class, but I like saying it in your class, Mommy.”

Today, we had to run out of the room pretty quickly since I had a chiropractor appointment after school. Fortunately, there were two American flags outside my chiropractor’s office, so as soon as we were buckled into our seats, we held hands over hearts and recited our Pledge. I figured just this once, since we were on our way out of the parking lot, it would be all right to sit down. It’s the thought that counts, right?

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