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McCallen's Move

A tiny gesture reveals his intentions and abilities to simply relate. Here’s a teenager who is growing in the social graces. Good for you, McCallen. You showed me something today.

It happened in the cafeteria of Aiea Elementary School, around 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon where McCallen, a junior at Moanalua H.S. and I go to mentor two third graders --- Jomar for him and Dave for me. McCallen and dave were engrossed in a game of Pop Up Trouble when a man walked in and stood patiently behind Jomar. Dave and I were a couple of long cafeteria tables away, playing our own game of Memory Matching but I could watch the scene around McCallen develop. The man, someone we’ve not seen before, casually dressed in shorts and T-shirt, tattoos on his arms and legs and a genuine smile on his face, kept standing, looking over Jomar’s shoulder. He was liking what he was witnessing. Yeah, it was obvious. He was Jomar’s dad. A meeting was about to happen.

The dad might have gently interrupted, “Boys, I don’t want to interrupt your game—especially not when my son seems to be winning. But, I’m Joe. Jomar’s father. You must be the student I’ve heard so much about. What’s your name again? Shake. Thank you for your friendship with my son. May I sit down and watch the end game?” But he didn’t.

It was our McCallen who reached out. He looked up, extended his hand and said, “I’m McCallen. You must be Jomar’s father.”

I almost fell off my cafeteria table bench. McCallen made the contact! The move! The gracious gesture! This kid! This fine young man!


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