In the beginning months of second grade, Orson leaned back a little too far in his chair. Mrs. Tennai warned him. She said, “if you lean too far you’ll fall over.”
Mrs. Tennai had never been right before, it was unlikely she would start now. Orson continued to lean. Every day he leaned a little further until that frightful October morning when the pitch proved too much for the chair.
The chair gave way, he let out a little “whoa!” and twirled off the seat crashing face first into the cold hard floor below. A front tooth, his first permanent tooth, ripped through his lip and bounced across the room.
After that, Orson wondered what else his teachers were right about. He ran with scissors and nearly lost a toe. He swallowed his gum and, while nothing particularly bad happened, he felt a little queasy for the rest of the day. He stepped on a crack and immediately had to call his mother.
He spent years testing how truthful authority figures were. In his first election he voted for a county commissioner that won by a single vote. He went camping in college and tested the “leaves of three” only to regret his decision so very, very much. His research of research proved to him that maybe, possibly, there’s the slightest chance people with experience are not just saying things to hear their own voice but rather to impart practical knowledge so no one has learn it firsthand.
He still rebelled in little ways. Questioning authority is always good, but completely dismissing advice serves no one.
Orson grew into a fine young adult and one morning received wonderful news that he was going to be a father.
He learned years after that morning that no one lied when they said, “what goes around, comes around.” The first time he picked up his eight year old son from the school nurses’ office he was handed a tooth in little baggie.
“Lean back in your chair, bud?” he asked the miniature version of himself.
“Jumped off the swing,” the child replied.
“Sounds about right. Let’s get you to a dentist.” Orson led his little stubborn boy out of school.
Thanks for reading!
Little bit o’ venting going on up there.