But I Want to Stay with You.

I took Shane into his Sunday School classroom a bit early. He goes to the “4th and 5th grade boys” class.

We were so early, in fact, that the teacher hadn’t arrived yet. One other boy was in the room – a very large boy, even for fifth grade. I’ll call him Bob, although I have no idea of his real name.

Bob was drawing on a white board with a marker. Meanwhile, I sat down with Shane to wait with the teacher.

“You can just leave,” Shane said to me.

“But I want to stay with you,” I told him.

He didn’t respond. I glanced at his feet. His white socks were falling down – or had never been properly pulled up, which is quite likely since I am such a stickler for making sure he has high quality socks.

“How are those socks?” I asked him, while Bob continued to draw on the white board across the room.

“They’re okay,” Shane said.

“Are they comfortable like that?” I asked.

“They’re okay,” he said again.

“Do you think you might like to pull them up, or do you prefer them falling down into your shoes?”

For one moment, Shane was still my baby. The next moment, his babyhood ended.

He spoke quietly, but with real conviction. “Stop talking about this stuff!” he said.

It was obvious, quite suddenly, that I had embarrassed him in front of Bob. Since Shane had never, ever been particular about what I said to him before, in front of anyone, I was a bit … surprised.

I stopped talking about socks.

Meanwhile, Bob left the white board and came over and sat down. He had drawn a very intricate picture of an electric eel that could easily have been featured in a publication somewhere.

“Did you draw that?” I asked Bob, as if I hadn’t seen him do it.

“Yeah,” said Bob.

“Do you ever draw comic books?”

“Sometimes,” he said.

“You should, if you can draw like that,” I told him. Bob responded by thumping on the table.

Shane echoed Bob’s thumping. Then Bob thumped back.

I got up to go to church. The teacher still wasn’t there, but I was not needed.

“Have fun guys,” I said, patting Shane’s head – and instantly regretting it.

As I walked out, the dueling drummers continued – having a great time, now that the old lady was gone.

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