By Jim O'Leary
An e-mail newsletter for and about Waverly people, used with permission in the HLW Herald and on this web site.
June 17, 2002
Heartwarming tales of South Texas children
She had just moved with her mother who was fleeing from an abusive husband into a housing project on the wrong side of town.
She missed her old school and her old playmates. Most of all, she missed her daddy who had promised her he would call her before her birthday and send her a big present.
Her mother was frantic about trying to give her a good birthday party now that she was turning 7. She enrolled her in Sunday School and invited the entire Sunday School class to the birthday party in the housing project.
The big day arrived but nobody from the Sunday School showed up for the party. The cake was going to waste and the ice cream was melting.
There was nobody to see the balloons. Worst of all, her daddy never called, which was no surprise to the mother.
After waiting about an hour with a little girl on the verge of tears, her mother grew desperate. Do you know what she did?
She ran door to door in the housing project to all of those people on welfare and she invited everybody, children and old folks, whoever answered the door.
In no time at all, the little apartment was filled with happy children and the cake and ice cream disappeared without a trace. That night, as the mother tucked her in, the little girl said, after her night prayers, "You know what, Mom?' That was the happiest time I ever had!"
Lupe was an overweight sophomore who was failing some of her classes.
She was also very sad because her grandmother had to go into a nursing home. Her grandmother had raised her ever since she was a baby. She had come from Mexico, worked in the fields, and never went to school.
She had taught Lupe all her prayers, and as far as Lupe was concerned, her grandmother was the only person who had ever loved her.
Lupe had to move in with her aunt. Since the aunt didn't have any spare money, getting into the high school band (which had always been her dream) seemed impossible, along with the fact that since she was failing, she wasn't eligible for any extracurricular activities anyway.
Then things took a turn for the better. Lupe passed all her subjects, her aunt scraped up some money for a band uniform, and a boy asked her to go to the football game with him where she would march with the band for the first time.
When the boy arrived at her aunt's house to pick up Lupe in her new band uniform, Lupe said to the boy, "Before we go to the game, first we go see Grandma. I want her to see me in my uniform."
And so they did.
Tommy, who was in special education, tried out for the football team.
Everybody at school considered him slow and dumb, but on the day the coach told him he would be on the team. Tommy ran all the way home.
When he got there to tell his dad, his dad, who was a truck driver, took out his work schedule and penciled in for all the game days, "No out of town runs today."
The INS took him and his mother away when he was five and sent them back into Mexico. He had been living with a family who needed his mother to run the household while they ran their business.
He was learning English and playing baseball with the man of the house.
Twenty years went by.
One day a car pulled up to the store where the people had run their business. From the car emerged their old housemaid and this handsome young man of 25.
After being deported to Mexico 20 years before, they had ended up in Dallas where the young man finished college. He had studied law enforcement. Big hugs all around.
Since he had high marks, was physically very strong and was bi-lingual, he was recruited eagerly by the Dallas Police Department, the Texas State Highway Patrol, and the US Border Patrol.
Guess where he ended up working?
101 ways to praise a child
Wow - way to go - super - you're special - outstanding - excellent - great - good - neat - well done - remarkable - I knew you could do it - I'm proud of you - fantastic - super star - nice work - looking good - you're on top of it - beautiful
Now you're flying - you're catching on - now you've got it - you're incredible - bravo - you're fantastic - hurray for you - you're on target
You're on your way - how nice - how smart - good job - that's incredible - hot dog - dynamite - you're beautiful
You're unique - nothing can stop you now - good for you - I like you
You're darling - you're a winner - remarkable job - beautiful work - spectacular - you're spectacular - you're precious - great discovery - you've discovered the secret - you figured it out
Fantastic job - hip, hip hooray - bingo - magnificent - marvelous - terrific - you're important - phenomenal - you're sensational
Super work - creative job - super job - fantastic job - exceptional performance - you're a real trooper
You are responsible - you are exciting - you learned it right - what an imagination - what a good listener - you are fun
You're growing up - you tried hard - you care - beautiful sharing - outstanding performance
You're a good friend - you make me laugh - you brighten my day - I respect you - you mean the world to me
You made my day - You're a joy - you're a treasure - you're perfect - awesome - A+ job - you're A-OK - a big hug - I love you.
(Suggestions for use: clip and attach to the refrigerator with a magnet right next to all the art work done by your student in residence.)
For previous issues of the Waverly Star, see the web site at www.herald-journal.com/waverly star.
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