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Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Social Work

My wife woke me up at 6 a.m. yesterday to ask me about toothpaste.

"Jeff, do have a small tube of toothpaste I can have?" she asked.

"Mmmph? Whuh? Um, take mine," I said, heavy-headed and confused at that early hour.

"But do you have any of those small, travel-sized ones?" she went on.

I don't remember what I said after that. It wasn't anything awful, it's just that I can't function normally for the first hour or so out of bed. I was wondering, though, why toothpaste was such an important issue considering I had some she welcome to use.

It turns out she wanted the toothpaste not for herself, but for one of the kindergarten kids she teaches. Every day, the kids brush their teeth after lunch, and one kid didn't bring any paste. My wife got a limited supply from the school's social work office, but getting more is complicated.

So, we're providing the needed supply.

I'm glad to do my part to help kids, but my gosh, my wife spends A LOT of money each year on supplies for her kids--stuff the school can't pay for because of its own limited budget. And my wife and I aren't exactly wealthy people.

Other things: paper towels and cleaning solutions keep disappearing from our house. My wife takes them school for use in her classroom.

She buys books for the kids, because many of them don't have any at home. No, I'm not exaggerating.

If you have kids in school, and their teacher is at all competent, please be sure to thank them for their work. And ask if their classroom needs any supplies.

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