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Store Story: Praise In Public

November 5, 2013

The circus-evoking aroma of popcorn mingles with the smell of new tires. A DIY tv show in the background tells us about “pops of color” and the “wow factor”, while very energetic and friendly employees help customers with smiles and efficient care. As I wait for a new battery and tire, the seating area is embraced in a full throated yell of “POPCORN!” from a sandy-blonde boy of no more than four. Once his dad and grandmother load him up with the fragrant buttery goodness, he clambers up on a stool which looks out on an intersection. As pedestrians approach the corners, he hollers “Don’t walk!” and “Always look both ways!” and “Hey, it’s not your turn!” When the people don’t obey or acknowledge his sage advice, he turns up the volume to air-raid siren, or zombie-apocalypse klaxon, levels. Tires shake in their racks and the popcorn machine spontaneously produces caramel corn before shorting out in a shower of sparks. Dad scoops him up and, while praising his knowledge of traffic safety, enjoins him to ratchet the volume down and they depart for outside to watch the cars go up and down on the racks. I meet grandma’s tired eyes and smile. The burden of raising a Gifted child is a large one; a little discipline is good, but go too far and you might have a preschool super villain on your hands.

From → Not Bus Stories

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