I started ripping pieces of the package off. A tear here and a tear there.
Inside the layer of paper was more paper. More packaging tape.
At that point I could no longer contain my curiosity. I had to open the package.
There was no note. No letter. Only cardboard wrapped haphazardly around a thin bound book.
What could be in this book? Was this for R’s eyes only? Why wasn’t his name spelled correctly? Was this from a scorned ex? Or worse? What if it was from a disgruntled coworker seeking revenge?
I held my breath as I skimmed through the pages, being careful not to bend any pages. Being careful not to breathe on it in case we needed it for evidence. Evidence for what? We would soon see.
They were pictures of my husband. A thinner, sweatier husband.
What the hell was this? When were these pictures taken? Why was my husband the subject of these pictures? Who took them? And why did he look exhausted?
I looked at the pictures closely and recognized some of his friends. Friends who made chief at the same time he did.
These were photographs of my husband’s chief initiation. One of the pages said Fort Gordon, where he was for training when he went through initiation, along with the date over two years ago.
I chuckled at wild conclusions my son came to and laughed out loud at the wild conclusions I imagined. Still, the package could have been sent in a different manner. A short note saying, “Hey, we got books made of our initiation. Here’s yours. Signed, A Fellow Chief” would have explained so much. Just a few words would have freed my mind.
A couple of words that had a powerful grip on me yesterday were CHANNING TATUM.
After a day of subbing in my son’s class, I volunteered here
at the school’s book fair but it did not look like this yesterday. Add forty paying customers. Add several dozen voices of kids just getting out of school. Add me who had a two minute crash course in working a register!
I have worked a register before. I volunteered at Victoria’s Secret one holiday season my second year of teaching. Yes, I call it volunteered because I spent far more at VS than I earned.
However, add in me trying to talk to each kid about their purchases (because that’s just me), add fellow parents who are also friends playfully yelling at me to work faster, and add another parent who asked about the new Channing Tatum movie.
I almost charged my friend double, maybe triple for her purchases. Finally I had to ask for help from the librarian and tell my friends to stop talking about Channing Tatum!
Words are powerful, even more so when they are connected to such a fine image.
Speaking of images, here are a few of my son’s works on display in his classroom. I love that his teacher gives assignments that leave room for a lot of creativity.