By K. Hecht, A. Hosack, P. Berman
It’s kind of exciting. I’ve been lonely. But what if he is like Larry?
Claire was walking home with a quickstep. Suddenly she didn’t feel the least bit tired. She was smiling and laughing to herself. It had been so nice that such an attractive young man had shown an interest in her. But she didn’t want to make mistakes. How could she tell if Craig he was like Larry or a nice man more like Mr. Carson?
Just as she was reaching the house, Davy burst out the door and envelope to her in a hug. “Mommy you won’t believe this but I’m going to kindergarten next year!” Claire hugged him to her and kiss the top of his head. “I am so proud of you Davy. You have worked very hard at Head Start and your teacher has noticed that you’re ready for kindergarten,” Claire said with a smile. She’d already known that Davy was headed for kindergarten.
All children eligible for kindergarten go for a visit where their “readiness” skills are evaluated. Claire had watched as Davy completed every assignment the kindergarten teacher gave him without mistake. He knew the entire alphabet. He knew how to count to 100. He was learning to read some small words. The teacher’s evaluation report had been sent to Head Start and to Claire. She had kept the news to herself wanting Davy to hear about it “first” and tell her.
As Claire and Davy walked into the house, Mrs. Carson said with a smile that they were all going out to dinner to celebrate Davy’s achievement. “Davy, I was so tired at work today but now because you’ve worked so hard, I get to go out to eat dinner and I won’t have to do any washing up afterwards,” Claire said with a huge smile.
Mr. Carson was putting on his coat and clearly in a teasing mood, “I think we should go have dinner at that new diner. I hear they make a great fried cat!” ““No Mr. Carson no. You can’t mean it,” Davy said. One of my friends at Head Start brought his cat in for a visit yesterday and his coat was so soft!”
“Well, I can’t believe this,” Mr. Carson said in an outraged voice. “Aren’t you the Davy who took Buddy for a walk last Saturday and said that a terrible mean cat had scratched buddy on the face?” Mr. Carson said in a serious voice. “Didn’t you say you are going to have to protect buddy from now on from all the mean cats in the neighborhood?”
Davy was staring down at his feet and looking sad. “Yes, I did Mr. Carson because that cat really did hurt buddy. But do you think it’s terrible that I’ve kind of change my mind about cats? My friend Max’s kitten wouldn’t hurt buddy- I am sure of it (Davy sighed deeply), its coat was so soft Mr. Carson. If only you had held that little kitty like I did you would realize that maybe the cat in the neighborhood is mean for good reasons. Maybe not all cats are mean.”
“Well, if you say so Davy,” Mr. Carson said straight faced. Mrs. Carson was laughing but trying to stop. “Now you just stop teasing Davy,” Mrs. Carson said, “Don’t worry Davey, we are going to the new diner but they don’t serve fried cats. Mr. Carson was telling you a fairy story. But you are going to Kindergarten and are ready for real stories!”
“Mr. Carson I am too old for fairy stories! I am big now I am going to Kindergarten,” Davy shrieked as he rushed out the front door, “I am so hungry my tummy can’t stand still.” Going out to eat was actually pretty hard on Claire that night. Davy was so excited that he kept knocking things over on the table and sometimes off the table. Claire bent down so many times to pick things up off the ground that she developed quite an ache in her back. But she kept her temper. Her Davy apologized each time, but he was just too excited to be well behaved.
When she finally had them tucked into bed and going to sleep, she was so tired she forgot all about wanting to talk to Mrs. Carson about the young man she met on the bus. But as she was slowly falling deeply asleep, she remembered his face smiling at her through the bus window. She hoped she would see him again tomorrow.
Was Craig just attracted to Claire and beginning a flirtation? Was he planning to sexually harass her? Was his observation of her at the back of he bus suggesting he might be a sexual predator? Sexual harassment can really harm victims yet it is a frequent occurrence and we don’t know enough about its causes and how to prevent it. There is a bill currently be considered in the house that would provide funding for more research on sexual harassment. The bill is:
H.R.36 – Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act of 2019
You can read about this bill at the following link. You can also use the link to request that your house representatives support this bill. It would only take five minutes of your time but could really help us understand and stop sexual harassment.