"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Friday, February 25, 2011

Don't lose one child. "Where's Rebecca?"

We left before dawn with our five children packed into the back of our station wagon including the piled high luggage rack.  We closely resembled the Chevy Chase, Grizwold family from the movie, "Vacation". Since this was a trip we made several times a year we had regular places where we stopped along the way.  The rest stop the kids looked forward to the most was lunch at “Pea Soup Anderson’s”. I don’t think it was so much the soup as it was the quaint little restaurant and the area where the children could run and play.  

This particular trip, after we ate, loaded back in the car and were several miles down the freeway, Patrick our oldest son said, “Where’s Rebecca”?  Sure enough, she wasn’t in her usual spot; the rear facing seat where she could look out the back window.  (All the other kids claimed they got car sick in that seat so Becca was always the one who had to sit there.)  We missed not seeing her because blocking the view to the back seat was the cooler holding our supply of snacks.
Frantically with all sorts of horror images in mind we made a u-turn across the dirt divider in the middle of Hwy. 99.  We raced back to find her sitting near the picture spot where you could put your face into a cut out of Hap, and Pea, the cooks who are supposedly the ones who make the soup.  She had been crying, and one of the waitresses had Rebecca in her lap.  Both were expectantly watching the road.  
Never in a million years would we have thought...Oh why bother, it's fine, let’s keep going...four out of five kids is OK.  Of course not!  We went back to get her, and after hugs and tears we were on our way again.  And for the next 50 miles got a toungue lashing from a four year old.
That’s much how I felt about serving on the Hart District School Board. When I first ran for election there were a few things I wanted to accomplish, but most of all, I didn't want to leave any child along the road. Even losing one was not acceptable.  I wanted to make sure the district always made a u-turn to go back if anyone got lost or stumbled or needed extra help finding their way back to the path.  My goal was to make sure that programs, curriculum, great teachers, and each campus setting was there to help every student reach their full potential.  I wanted to make sure that parents were involved because of all people, parents know how best to help their child.  I wanted to make sure that integrity, honesty and patriotism were part of what we taught because those are the foundation values of our great nation.

Handing out graduation certificates to hundreds of students each year made it worth the criticism, the complaints and having to read nasty letters, or e-mails, or to sit at meetings and listen to the un-kind words of others.  I know most people have no clue as to the time, energy, hurt and pain it takes to make some sensitive decisions, or the hours of study and research board members put in to find the best and most economical way to do things while making sure every child is ready for their future but that's why I spent 16 years of my life serving on a school board....to help kids...and now that I think about it, that's probably why I teach Pediatrics. 

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