Whenever they were together there was bound to be trouble. The two boys were always up to something and while it usually wasn’t dangerous, it rarely resulted in any academic learning. My goals were to seat them as far apart as possible during instruction and be on heightened alert for commotions when they were together.
One morning they walked casually up to my desk and handed me a small box.
“When me and Milo were together after school yesterday we saw somethin’ that made us think of you,” said Travis.
I looked down at the small package and wondered what could be inside. Given their history, I was a little nervous it might be alive.
“We went to Walgreens by ourselves and when we saw it, we knew you’d like it,” said Travis.
“So we put our money together and bought it for ya,” Milo added.
I let out a sigh of relief that it was from Walgreens as that pretty much meant it wouldn’t be a snake or a frog.
Travis and Milo looked at me, eyebrows raised, and waited for me to open the gift.
It was a squishy, blue . . . stress ball! I laughed at how well they knew me.
They nodded and smiled at my reaction. Then they went back to their separate seats and (no doubt) began planning something to cause me stress!
From that time on, I couldn’t get quite as upset with their shenanigans as I had in the past. The stress ball remained on my desk and each time I saw it I was reminded that sometimes the people who stress us the most can also bring us great delight.