Whoever Is On the Honor Roll, Line Up.
Last night, as I was tucking Shane into bed, he told me about the honor roll “party” at school.
“Basically we all got ice cream at lunch,” he said. “They just said, ‘whoever is on the honor roll, line up.’ And then like half the cafeteria got in line. And then we got our ice cream and ate it.”
He made it sound rather anticlimactic. (Since my dad and I had both already taken him out for ice cream to celebrate straight A’s, it probably was anticlimactic.)
Then Shane shocked me.
“The whole time I was waiting in line,” he said, “I kept thinking about all the kids who didn’t get ice cream. And I remembered how I felt when all of my friends were patrols, and I just had to sit there.”
In fifth grade, Shane was the only one of his dozen closest friends who wasn’t chosen to be a safety patrol. He rarely spoke about it, ever.
“Probably the worst day of my entire life was when they had the patrol picnic,” Shane continued.
The picnic is a county-wide, day-long fair, to which only patrols are invited. There are treats and carnival rides, all created especially for those few kids, who leave school behind for the entire day to celebrate.
“First, my really good teacher went to the patrol picnic, because he was in charge of the patrols,” Shane said. “And we got a substitute, and it was a bad substitute. And I was left in school with all the bad kids while my friends got to ride on rides and have a party all day long.”
My heart almost broke in half.
Shane usually keeps his emotions in check. But on this rare occasion, he talked about a day – and an injustice – that crushed his spirit.
Ironically, this happened because he was rewarded for doing well.
Shane spent his celebration with an aching heart for those who weren’t rewarded.