Funny how our minds tuck away little bits and pieces of our past, only to be easily jogged into our consciousness years later So it was on my recent trip to Wisconsin. I was headed north on I-39 when a few miles across the Illinois-Wisconsin state line a sign let me know that I was in the vicinity of Janesville, WI.
I have never been to Janesville, but as soon as I saw the sign I knew it is the home of the American Baton Company and I did business with them not so many, many years ago.
Out of the blue one day, daughter Kim asked me innocently, “Dad, do you remember when you broke my baton in half?” I was taken aback by her question and quickly admitted that I did not recall what she was talking about. But I did know that she was speaking about something that took place eons ago.
I did not have to coax her to tell me the story. As she related, she was a little girl of maybe five or so. She had a toy baton and in a moment of anger, I sent it to the baton happy hunting ground.
My mind raced. How could I have been so heartless? My Lord, if she remembered this decades later I had obviously scarred her psych for eternity.
That’s when Janesville came to the rescue. I had to replace that baton and google soon took me to the American Baton Company. I don’t know how much it cost, but I got a super duper model and had it shipped to her ASAP.
Not so long after this happened, her brother Kevin said to me, “Dad, Kim did not tell you the rest of the story.” I was all ears as he filled in the portion of the event Kim conveniently left untold. The baton in question had rubbers knobs at both ends. They came off and Kim, two years younger than Kevin, told him to look in one end as if he was using a telescope.
He did. And that’s when she struck, popping the end nearest her which shoved the other end into his eye and inflicted both pain and parental concern.
Obviously the aftermath was a broken baton.
At some point I mentioned to Kim that her brother “spilled the beans” and asked why she didn’t tell me that part of the tale. She laughed and said, “Well, you didn’t ask me about it.”
I have no idea where the new super duper baton may be today. Nor do I care. All I know is that I dearly love Kevin and Kim and wish for them a wonderful Christmas.