When I was in Kindergarten and learning to write my name, my teacher, Miss Manina, insisted my name was Clayton and that my insisting on just writing “CLAY” in my labored, 5-year old, block letters just demonstrated a tendency towards laziness.
“Clayton, you must write your full name. Stop being lazy,” Miss Manina admonished while hovering over me, much too close for comfort and much to my embarrassment.
“My name is Clay and I’m not lazy!” I tearfully protested.
Things quickly spun out of control between me and Miss Manina. Finally, my mom had to come down to the school with my birth certificate to satisfy my teacher that her assumption that my name was Clayton was wrong and that my given name was Clay. Miss Manina was not happy, but she relented.
Mom never disputed the teacher’s second assumption about me, which has proved to be largely correct over the last five and half decades. Miss Manina had me pegged, and mom was not about to contradict her on the laziness issue.
Happy Mother’s Day, mom. Hope things are fine in Heaven.
Your grateful son,