Finally, after wiping several noses, zipping jackets, tying shoes, and convincing darling, doubting Darian that being last in line was, indeed, a very important job, my 4 and 5-year-old preschool class was ready for recess. The light was out, my whistle ready and all my little hall-walkers, except for Preston Fowler, stood quietly with their hands behind their backs. Preston had the ever-coveted duty of line leader and there he was in my shadow, big eyes, sweet blush and innocent smile, anxiously waving his hand in the air.
"What is it Preston?", I asked. (Preston always had the most wonderful things to say...)
"Mrs. Donna, you smell like Davey Crockett!"
Now, being a mother of four, grown children and a preschool teacher for over two years, I had recieved numerous, colorful 'compliments', but this one took me completely off gaurd. I stumbled for words as my nine, patient proteges waited and watched. I smelled my hands and (instinctivly) under my arm. "Preston, I don't know what to say!", I smiled awkwardly.
"No, Mrs Donna, it's your mouth!"
"Oh my", and I remembered earlier that morning when sweet Lauren lovingly commented on my yellow teeth and cottage cheese breath. The look on my face and tone in my voice must have been rather laughable , because Darian jostled her way up front to see and the recess line swiftly tangled.
I frantically reached deep in my oversized pockets digging through paper clips, broken bits of toys and crayons for a mint or gum or anything to rid me of my Davey Crocket breath before parents came to retrieve their children.
Preston just stood there red-faced and worried and tugged my smock to get my attention one more time...
"No. No, Mrs Donna, he stammered, staring down at the floor, you SMILE like Davey Crocket."
"Oh, my...well then...um...sigh..."
With order restored and Darian once again towing the line, we were all eager for some fresh air.
Preston happily led the way and I pulled the door closed behind me just after peeking in the small mirror on the wall with the frame that reminded me in bright, rainbow colors, that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made".