Jennifer Greene-Sullivan’s Jesus and the Rooster Seat
It is Lee-Lee’s last spring at daycare. When fall comes, he will be going to Pre-K. All the four-year-olds before him were excited to start school, yet they were a little sad to leave behind friends.
All the four-year-old boys and girls will miss their daycare teachers. Lee-Lee loves Ms. Wanda,especially. He will remember coming to Ms. Wanda’s little red brick house with the large playground in the backyard. He loves to throw rocks through the links in the fence that wraps around the playground, he loves to slide down the big slide, and he loves to play in the sandbox with his buddies.
One Wednesday afternoon at daycare, Lee-Lee thinks to himself, “ I’m a big boy and will go to school next year, but I’m gonna play at Ms. Wanda’s until then!” Suddenly, he looks up at Ms. Wanda, grabs her hand, and says, “I love you, Ms. Wanda!”
She smiles warmly and takes the little boy’s outstretched hand. “I love you too, Lee-Lee” Ms. Wanda and he walks hand in hand to the playground in the backyard.
She opens the gate to the fence and scolds her little beagle for trying to rush into the playground, “Not today, Trixie, you’ve got to stay out of the kid’s playground.” Trixie stays put outside the gate, and the two stroll into the playground.
Lee-Lee runs over to his friend Tyler. Lee-Lee and Tyler climb up the slide and sit together for a few minutes at the very top. They pretend that the top of the slide is really a big deer stand, and they are brave hunters, waiting for a deer to come out of the woods.
“Lee-Lee, do you see that big deer over there?” Tyler asks.
“No, that’s Trixie. She doesn’t want to pretend to be a deer today.” Lee-Lee answers.
“Who’s gonna be the deer then? We can’t hunt without that!” Tyler responds.
“Let’s pretend that the slide is the inside of a truck. We can drive this truck all the way to the woods. We can find a deer!” Lee-Lee exclaimed. “All we need is our ROOSTER SEATS!”
Tyler stops and looks at his friend and squints his eyes, “A ROOSTER SEAT?” he asks.
“Yeah, we have to sit up high in a Rooster Seat to be able to see out of our truck. We are too short.” Lee-Lee comments.
Tyler laughs and adds, “oh, you mean a booster seat.”
“Yeah, that’s what I said, Tyler.” Lee-Lee replies, looking sternly at Tyler.
The two boys burst out laughing at the meaning of Rooster Seat, and they suddenly realize it’s time to go back inside because it’s parents’ pick up time.
As the boys enter the large learning center, they run over to the coat rack and grab their jackets. Lee-Lee walks over to the cork board and pulls down his drawing for the letter “L.” Ms. Wanda walks over to congratulate him on his exceptional drawing of Llamas. Lee-Leethanks her and says, “Llama starts with “L.” I can’t wait to show my mama the llama, but I have to wait till later tonight.”
“Why will you have to wait?” she inquires.
“Because Jesus is picking me up from your house today.” he says matter of factly.
With a shocked expression, Ms. Wanda laughs and pats the four- year- old on his head and says, “Um, okay, Sir.”
Lee-Lee smiles and nods because he felt so sure of himself. At five o’clock, Lee-Lee runs over to the door, stands on his tippy toes, and peers through the window.
“He’s here! Here’s here! JESUS is here.” Lee-Lee squeals in delight.
Ms. Wanda heads over to the door, looking for Jesus. She sees a white van and a man who looks surprisingly like Santa Claus.
She pushes Lee-Lee back inside the daycare while she walks over to the white van to speak to the man who looked like Santa.
Santa Claus, wearing a button down plaid shirt, rolls the van window down and says, “Good evening! You must be Ms. Wanda. We are picking up Lee-Lee today.”
Ms. Wanda smiles politely yet wonders who this man really is; she says,”Evening, do I know you?”
“We have not met until now, but Lee-Lee and his sisters talk about you often.” Santa says. Two of the little boy’s sisters open the door to the van and hop out. They run up the steps and let Lee-Lee loose in the yard.
“Ms. Wanda,” he hollers, “I will see you tomorrow!” His sisters begin to buckle him into the van.
The oldest sister notices the look of shock on the woman’s face and says, “ This is Mr. Gerald, our preacher. He takes us to church on Wednesday nights. Our mama is already there preparing to teach the youth class. She sent you a text message already.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Ms. Wanda.” Mr. Gerald adds as he shakes her hand.
“Oh! It’s nice to meet you too, Mr. Gerald. I’ll see you tomorrow, Lee-Lee.” she says to the little boy, laughing under her breath.
Lee-Lee’s sisters shut the door to the white, church van while they buckled his seat belt.
Lee-Lee looks wide eyed and excited to ride in the church van. “JESUS, I am bucked in my ROOSTER SEAT. Let’s go to church.”
Everyone laughs so loud. Finally, Mr. Gerald says, “That’s the best compliment I’ve ever had, usually everyone just calls me Santa Claus.”
I am an English teacher, mother, and wife, but I love to write. I feel that I am blessed to be able to use my talent to write about my children's books, poems, short fiction, and parenting. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about my experiences with beginning a writing career while focusing on my children and my job. I look forward to comments and to hear from my readers!
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