The Portugal Years: Year Five – That Crazy Summer of 1983

Bethy and "Tommy" on the day he left to go home.
Bethy and “Tommy” on the day he left to go home.

On June 30th, 1983 we found ourselves catapulted into year five of our Portugal adventure. About mid-summer, one of my former students came to visit us. Tommy (name changed  to protect the guilty) kept the classroom lively for me when I was his teacher.

Once he tried to scam his mother. Tommy failed a Social Studies test on Thursday. He had until Tuesday to get a parental signature that they had seen it. So, he hid his failing test and took his study sheets home. He persuaded his mother to him help him study for the test all weekend.

On Monday afternoon I got a phone call from his frustrated and weeping mother. It mystified  me. She kept saying that she had studied with Tommy all weekend for the test he took that day. I had no idea what she was talking about. I repeated several times that I never gave tests on Mondays. Then the truth struck me. It took me 15 minutes explain to Tommy’s mother and for her to understand  that he had totally scammed her. We will pull a curtain of charity over the succeeding events.

Shortly after Tommy went back to the states, we set up Harry’s “single” bed for Bethy. She was almost two years old, and was going to sleep in a big girl bed. Then, the night terrors began. She woke up in the middle of the night screaming. Harry dashed down the hall certain something horrible had happened to her as she slept.  When she saw her daddy, Bethy told Harry that there were lions in her bed. Harry tried to reassure her, and eventually she went to sleep.

This happened several times a week. I was not a fan of the lions. Finally  Harry, in a moment of inspiration, asked Bethy to show him where the lions were. She pointed to the top of the high headboard. He reached up and  “grabbed” all of those lions. He held them as he ran down the hallway, opened the door and yelled out into the dark of the night: “You are bad lions. You get out of here and don’t scare my Bethy anymore.” After that when she woke up scared he chased the lions again, and she soon grew out of it.

Bethy with her doll on the varanda
Bethy with her doll on the varanda