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Only The Girl Apples Fall Far From The Tree

, , , , , , | Learning | February 14, 2022

I grew up in a very small rural community with only one school — the same one my father and his sister grew up attending. Some of the teachers are still there when I get into the school, so they recognize my last name and ask if I’m related to my dad or my aunt.

This one takes the cake. On the first day of class my senior year, the teacher was taking attendance. It was a service learning class, so we gathered in the cafeteria, took roll, and then went to where we needed to go — usually the elementary school. There was a group of freshmen having a study hall across the room.

Teacher: “[My First Name]…” *long pause* “…[Last Name]. Wait a minute. [Last Name]?”

The teacher looked around the room and then zeroed in on me.

Teacher: “Okay, you have got to be related to [Dad], right?”

Me: “Yeah, that’s my dad.”

Teacher: “Oh, wow. [Dad] had kids? Huh, he was a troublemaker back in the day…  I suspended him more times than I could count.”

Me: “My dad has five kids. In fact…”

I stood up and called my sister’s name. She looked over and waved.

Me: “That’s his second kid right over there. The rest are younger. Next year, one will be a freshman, but the other two have a couple of years before they hit high school.”

Teacher: “How many boys does he have?”

Me: “Two. Next year, one will be at this school.”

Teacher: “I think I’ve just decided to retire.”

My sisters and I weren’t troublemakers, but we couldn’t say the same for my brother, who was a freshman the year after I graduated. The principal definitely recognized my dad when he came to collect my brother and jokingly asked my dad how he raised two wonderful kids like my sister and me. My dad’s response?

Dad: “I think my genetics only passed on to the boys. The other one will be here in a few years, so I’ll be seeing you then, too.”

And he did. My brothers did eventually grow out of the troublemaker phase, but it took them a few years!

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