When A Pronoun Antecedent Makes A World Of Difference

Alex’s teacher this year is Mrs. Cook, only I should probably confess right now that Mrs. Cook is not her real name. And of course this is where the relational side of me wants to say, “Hey, y’all. Her name is actually Mrs. So-And-So. She teaches at Such-And-Such School – do you know her?”

But I realize that might be a bit foolish and somewhat counterproductive in terms of protecting the boy’s privacy. Plus, the whole creating-an-alias-for-the-teacher thing is kind of fun. In fact, it makes me feel a little bit like Sidney Bristow. Except without the hot pink wig and the killer kah-rah-tay kicks.

And, you know, the rock-solid abs.

Mrs. Cook is an absolutely wonderful teacher, so much so that other parents whose children have been in her class get TEARS IN THEIR EYES when they talk about her. Even more remarkable is what someone told me the other day: Mrs. Cook has been teaching for over twenty-five years and has never raised her voice in the classroom.

We should probably pause at this juncture to give the Lord a holy handclap of praise for His goodness in providing an authority figure who just might have a calming influence on our child. Because, quite frankly, his daddy and I have proven to be of no use at all when it comes to convincing Alex to dial down his level of enthusiasm over, say, NOODLES.


Last night Alex and I were saying prayers before his bedtime, and all of the sudden he sat straight up and said, “Mama! Oh, Mama! I have a GOOD WORD for us, Mama!”

Thinking that he’d learned a new word at school, I patted his leg and said, “Okay, baby – and I want you to tell me ALL about it just as soon as we finish praying.”

I started to pray again, and after about five seconds the little man piped up again, only louder: “BUT MAMA! I HAVE A GOOD WORD TO SHARE!”

Something about the way he said it let me know that he wasn’t talking about vocabulary words, so I said, “All right, then – tell me your good word.”

And he bowed his head again, clasped his little hands together, and in the sweetest voice you’ve ever heard, he said, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”

Oh, internets.

My heart, it was full.

And I could pretend like I didn’t cry but that would be a lie.

After we finished with prayers and goodnight kisses, I walked to the den to let D know that Alex wanted to tell him goodnight, too. As D started down the hall, I choked back the sobs and said, “Be sure to ask him about his good word.”

A few minutes later D came out of Alex’s room, and as I continued to wipe the tears from my eyes I said, “So – did he tell you his good word?”

“He did,” D answered. “And I think I have a little perspective to add to that.”

“What is it?” I asked, thinking that our sweet boy had probably recited even more of that particular verse for his daddy.

D said, “Well, he said the verse, and I told him how proud I was, and then I asked him WHO is with him.”

“Uh-huh. What did he say?”

“He said, ‘MRS. COOK is with me, Daddy!'”


Alex may still be just a smidge foggy in terms of his theology.

We’ll try to work on that.

But in the meantime, y’all can be encouraged to know that you don’t have to be afraid because Mrs. Cook is with you always.

And she’ll stay calm regardless.

And she’ll teach you stuff, too.

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  1. That is so sweet! I mean, of course at a certain juncture you will have to lead him down a path toward Jesus rather than Mrs. Cook, but those little mix-ups are one of the very best parts of having little kids around.

  2. I once went to church with the best two year old teacher of all time named Mrs. Money. One day a very excited two year old showed his Daddy his picture of a rainbow he’d colored in class. His Daddy, wanting to sieze a teachable moment asked,

    “And who MADE the rainbow?”

    The reply? “MRS. MONEY made the rainbow!!!”

  3. Yeah, but the teacher in me was thinking…it was MRS. COOK reciting that verse in order not to raise her voice in the classroom for all those 234 years : ) I keep a prayer angel in my pocket at all times. In the case I don’t wear pocketed pants or skirts, the prayer angel sits on my desk. Let someone ask me what it is and what it’s for!

  4. It is *so* reassuring to know that Mrs. Cook is with me always… maybe that means some of her sweetness and sense of CALM will rub off on me a little. Alex was right, that is a good word. :grin:

  5. Too funny! And, I’m with ya, I would have been crying!

    (Be sure to pass along any tips on the whole CALMing thing -we could sure use some of that over here too.)

  6. Oh that made me laugh, I never thought for a minute he meant his teacher.

  7. Tomorrow, when I drop Reia off at her first day of school…ever…expect me to look like a raccoon of sorts by the time I get back to my portable. And I love that her teacher, who is in my Bible study, prays over each student every day. God is so good.

  8. Oh my, how sweet.

    And how do you spend 25 years with preschoolers and not raise your voice? I don’t think I could do that for 25 minutes.

  9. Kids that age are very concrete, but that’s what makes what they say even more special.


  10. Clemntine says:

    Would you kindly give this message to Mrs. Cook for me?

    “Quit buying Oreos and Fudgecicles. And quit shoving them in my pie hole. And quit making pies. And if you’re going to be with me always, could you get me up by about 5:30 so I can pray AND exercise?”

    Oh, BooMama, this cures SO MANY ills! Again, I am in your debt.

  11. That might be the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time….i laughed out loud and slapped my leg I think!!! Please don’t ever forget that one….just too too precious!!!
    Hug ’em tight!

  12. Oh gooey sweetness. God Bless Mrs. Cook. This one deserves a linky-loo.

  13. And here you had me all tearing up just thinking about it!

    Well, hooray for Mrs. Cook! I could always use an extra hand around here.

  14. I just had a vision of Mrs. Cook and Jesus hanging out. Both of them being with me, of course. I feel like she would make Him tea.

  15. So cute. My Dtr’s preschool used to be called xxx’s Noah’s Ark. Now, whenever she reads about the Ark in Genesis, it’s always, xxx’s Noah’s Ark. :)

  16. So, so funny! Thanks for the laugh!

  17. Boomama, you made me cry, but the good kind of crying. It was the boy clasping his hands and saying do not be afraid for i am with you. That’s truly the sweetest thing. You have a very sweet boy. Bless him!

  18. That. was hilarious. I’m so glad Mrs. Cook is with us always, and that Alex is so secure in that knowledge. :)

  19. Oh gracious! How cute is that!

  20. That is stinkin’ hilarious…

  21. So maybe “Mrs. Cook” can be God’s pseudonym in your household, too. Who knew that of the many wonderful names of God, there’s Mrs. Cook, too?

    May Mrs. Cook Bless you! OK, I’ve gone too far…sorry about that…May God Bless you good folks with good Words!

  22. bless her heart, sweet mrs. cook!

    and what a blessing for you, d, and most especially, alex! because of this good woman’s influence, precious little alex will love school, and he will always remember that mrs. cook was his teacher.

    what a sweet little boy you have, boomama!

  23. I am still laughing.

  24. She never raises her voice?! Wow! Such self-control! I wish I could say the same for around here.

  25. sounds like he has a great teacher! do you think she is muttering that verse all day to keep her cool?

  26. Oh, so sweet. What a blessing to have such a wonderful teacher!

  27. But isn’t that really who God is? A calming authority figure who never raises His voice at us? Well, sometimes I think He’s SCREAMING at me — when I’m not really listening!

  28. Too funny! I posted this week about my little man’s mixed-up theology too! Stories like this really crack me up.


  29. what a word!!!!!!!!!!

  30. So is Mrs. Cook available to teach me her non-voice-raising methods? Because my four kids would just be shocked into obedience if she could!
    I am not exactly effective at eliciting an atmosphere of calm during, oh, bathtime, breakfast, and heading upstairs for bedtime. I might be a little hyper.

  31. A great teacher is the most wonderful gift a parent of a preschooler can ask for!!! We have a “strong willed” little darlin’, who can make most grown-ups quiver in fear with her strong little personality. Two years ago we were blessed with THE MOST WONDERFUL preschool teacher I could have ever dreamed of. We had her for the last 2 years, and she seriously changed our lives. She looked at our daughters personality as an ASSET not a drawback, and that right there made a WORLD of difference! In 2 days our little darlin’ starts kindergarten (eek!) and I know that she’ll do well, not because of my good parenting, (though I’ve tried my best!) but because her preschool teacher gave her an awesome start!

  32. Mrs. Cook ain’t got nothing on you. You know how to use “pronoun antecedent” in a sentence. I don’t even know what one is. As far as I am concerned, with brains like that you should be homeschooling.

  33. Reminds me of a story Sara Groves told at a concert once. She and a relative or friend have sons about the same age. One day, Friend called Sara up and said, “Guess what! Son asked Jesus into his heart today!” Sara rejoiced with Friend, but then fought a battle of faith about HER son trusting Christ. It was hard-fought, but she won. The next day, Friend called Sara up and said, “Guess what! Son asked Spider Man into his heart today!” I still giggle when I think about that mother’s heart bubbling over with pride and then something else at the thought of Spider Man. Love the Howard stories, BooMama!

  34. Mrs. Cook…why would you pick a pseudonym that is related to food…why??

    Why not Mrs. Sausage? or Mrs. Pickle? Since both those things have a soft spot in your heart? (So I’m told)

    Alex is one sweet little fella.

  35. I’ve seen your blog in the blogrolls of many, MANY blogs. So, I decided to stop by today and read a little. And now I can’t stop reading. You are so stinkin’ hilarious and truly have a gift for writing. I may just add you to my list of blogs I stalk. If you don’t mind of course.

  36. What a sweet sweet story. I would have definitely cried too!

  37. That was truly priceless. Could he be any more adorable? I think not.

  38. Ah well even still….
    My heart just melted and tears welled up…

    Sweet as shuuuugar I tell ya :0)


  39. A holy handclap of praise to Almighty God for Mrs. Cook.

    Can’t wait to hear all about her and her calming influence this year. :)

  40. God bless your adorable and hilarious family. And God bless Mrs. Cook for never raising her voice.

  41. Precious. I choked back a tear or two— and then I laughed! Thank God for Mrs. Cook and Thank God for you!

  42. LOL!!

    Does Mrs Cook make house visits? I sure could use some calming influence around Casa de Loca!

  43. I was getting misty over the sweetness of Mrs. Cook and Alex embracing a bible verse…. and then Boomama brought it home. Girl I almost choked on my cantelope. You are the best.

  44. I laughed, I cried . . . . . . .
    Sooooo funny/sweet!

  45. Just last night my oldest, who’s 4, was reciting her latest memorized verse, complete with hand motions. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Pillippians 2:5”

  46. Excellent, mamacita! I know the pride that swelleth from thy bosom…

    Hunter just learned his first complete memory verse after repeating it back to me 1,000,trillion times: “Jesus wept.” Or rather, “Sheshu ept.”

    I was so proud of my 2 year old… and no one understands when I have him repeat it to other people that it IS a complete sentence, it IS the shortest complete verse in the Bible, and it IS a start! They sort of look at me and cock their heads and say… “ummm, what did he say?” and look all confused at my beaming smile.

    One day, my boy will also be able to repeat: “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” One day.

  47. Out of the mouth of babes…thanks for the smiles.

  48. I am SO glad to hear that! I could use a little bit more of Mrs. Cook with me. And I’d like to know how she’s not raised her voice with the kids. I wish I could be more Mrs. Cook-like in that respect.

  49. Thanks for the great story! I needed the lift this morning.

  50. Is it really that far off?? :)

    She must be a saint to have never raised her voice in 25 years of teaching many small children.


    What a sweet, sweet boy.

  51. Good night nurse! I could have used a little reminder that Mrs. Cook was with me last night as I was YELLING AT MY KIDS! Now you tell me. Oh well. I got it out of my system for now. (And yes, guilt followed right behind the yelling. I question why I should be “Mom” some days…)

  52. too cute.

    i need a lesson from mrs. cook on the whole “not raising my voice” thing. think she’s available for private lessons?

  53. Howard has a very good heart indeed.

  54. Visiting you is never a disappointment!! Precious and hilarious all at once. Have you seen the “little girl and psalm 23” video at GodTube.com? If not, you have to check it out. I’ve never seen anything so precious.

  55. Now that is absolutely precious–even if his theology isn’t quite right on, it’s still precious. Besides, who wouldn’t be reassured, with Jesus AND Mrs. Cook behind you?? That boy is just great :)

  56. That is hilarious! I think he and my Princess could be quite a match one day with all of their excitement and absolute “chattiness!”

  57. Precious!

  58. You definately have a gift for writing! I am SO glad to see from other’s comments that I’m not the only one who needs to learn from Mrs. Cook! Oh how I pray for a calm & quiet voice! BTW my firstborn daughter sounds much like your son in the enthusiasm dept.

  59. Mercy!!!!!!!