One of the biggest events in my life happened in second grade. I got my first prosthetic hand! Up until then, I had always worn a hook. I was so proud of my new hand. It looked extremely real. I couldn’t wait to wear it to school. My Papaw Otto even bought me a brand new watch to wear on it.
Monday finally came. You know those days when you can’t quit smiling? It was one of those days. The kids on the bus were fascinated with my new hand. They asked me questions about it all the way to school. I bounced off the bus and headed to my class. The kids in my class were excited, too. They wanted to touch my new hand and see me operate it. When the bell rang, we all went to our seats. My teacher, Mrs. Rickey, walked over to my desk. I was beaming. I expected her to compliment my new hand and ask me about it. Instead, she coldly said, “You’re wearing that watch on the wrong hand. You’re supposed to wear a watch on the right hand.” Then she walked away.
I felt confused. “I didn’t know there is a rule about which hand you’re supposed to wear a watch on,” I thought. “And she didn’t say a word about my new hand. Maybe she didn’t notice it.” When I got home from school, I told my mom what Mrs. Rickey said. My mom seemed instantly mad and assured me that you can wear a watch on whichever hand you’d like.
Looking back on that day, I’m amazed. Aren’t our teachers called to encourage us, build us up, inspire us? What was she doing? Was she trying to kill my joy? Why would you do that to a kid? It’s a good thing for Mrs. Rickey that she made that comment to 7-year-old Becky and not 52-year-old Becky. 52-year-old Becky would give her a few pointers on how to treat children. Mrs. Rickey would probably start wearing her watch on her left hand.
“Better to wear a millstone necklace and take a swim in the deep blue sea than give even one of these dear little ones a hard time!” Luke 17:2 (MSG)
Author’s Note- Mrs. Rickey’s name has been changed to protect the guilty and the dead.