Double Payback Time – A Generation Later

Double Payback Time – A Generation Later
For over 30 years our family has been rehashing an incident that took place during my daughter Amy’s kindergarten year in school. All families have similar stories and ours is not unique in any way except that her innocent comments as a child went full circle and came back to haunt her when her own daughters attended school many years later.

It was no secret to visitors in our home that we had a wet bar in our basement, complete with a sink, refrigerator and tap system. Our kids became accustomed to seeing adults filling a pitcher with beer and then pouring it into individual mugs for the guests.

At about this same time, our children would have a lot of fun with their old man, trying to stump him on the color of various items around our home. Being colorblind myself, the kids got a kick out of learning that their dad answered way more color quizzes incorrectly compared to the occasional time when he made an accurate guess.

I have no idea how Amy got into her head that the two scenarios above were related. I also can’t begin to speculate as to how the conversation came up during her school day in kindergarten. But, when young children are reminded of something that took place at home, they don’t hesitate – they let it fly.

“When my daddy has a few pitchers of beer, he doesn’t know his colors anymore,” Amy announced to her teacher, Mrs. Weitzel, and the entire class one day. Of course, Mrs. Weitzel didn’t hesitate to relay the statement to my wife, who taught kindergarten, too. Hence, the tale became famous in the Potchak household.

Now, fast forward to the day when Amy’s daughter, Maddie, was attending kindergarten at a local parochial school. The assignment was to draw a picture of something that the students had seen or experienced over the weekend.

By chance, Amy and her family went out for supper to a local El Campesino restaurant on a Friday evening and to no one’s surprise, the event stuck in Maddie’s mind.

Monday, in school, drawn in correct color in a curved tumbler, complete with salt and umbrella and labeled phonetically, was a huge Margarita. The word Margarita was so close to being spelled correctly, that the teacher complimented Maddie on her use of a “Wow Word.”

As expected, the teacher didn’t pause to make Amy aware of the picture by commenting on it humorously.

Was the payback complete? Not quite. Remember, Maddie has a twin sister, Alina. So it only seemed appropriate that Amy receive a double whammy.

This time, the Monday morning school assignment was pretty much the same except the twins were now in first grade. I’m not sure if Amy or her husband was the inspiration for the next work of art, but once again, it made an impression on the kids. Following a weekend trip to the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival, where the family visited numerous craft booths and food vendors, the teacher was presented on Monday morning with a well-drawn and appropriately labeled picture of “The Beer Tent.”

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927
From Left: Son, Steve - Dad, Frank - Mom, Anastasia (Makar) - Sons; John, Mike, Frank, Chuck (Author's Dad) - Twins, Pete & Mary - Daughter, Catherine. Photo taken in Wilmore, PA