Show and Tell

Remember Show and Tell?   I can’t recall anything I took, but I clearly remember two of Mo’s Show and Tell items.  Both happened in 2nd grade.

Mo has a glamorous “Aunt” Tina who visited us for a long weekend.  Mo was dazzled by Tina and dragged her to school on Show and Tell day.  Tina wore glitzy jewelry, a gold tank top under a dark cashmere blazer, high pumps, and a pencil skirt. Her thick blond hair was knotted in a french braid, curly tendrils escaping near her ears.

Mo introduced her with obvious pride. Tina then sat in a rocker and proceeded to captivate her elfin audience.  Tina is a rock star with little kids.  She was once nominated as Delaware Teacher of the Year.  Her imagination is endless.

Tina told Mo’s classmates that the state of Delaware is small.  Extremely small.  So small, in fact, everybody living there knows everybody else living there.  I had resided in Delaware for the first thirty-three years of my life.  I didn’t know all the other residents.  But to hear Tina tell it we Delawareans got together monthly and dined at a large table groaning with delicacies, whereupon we shared stories of our First State adventures.

A funny Tina memory just popped into my brain.  She and I went to a Christmas cookie exchange years ago.  I barely knew a soul.  I had been invited simply because of my relationship with Tina, the woman who knew everyone in Delaware.  Obviously, she knew everyone at the party.  I did my best to work the room, smiling and attempting small talk.  After the shindig, seated in the car, Tina turned to me and said, “You’ve had a chocolate chip stuck in your teeth all afternoon.”

Huh?  She waited until AFTER the party to share that embarrassing factoid?  It was a learning moment for me.  Since that day I always tell people if they have food in their teeth.  It may be an awkward thing to do but saves them from spending a day grinning with broccoli teeth.

Tina had no food in her teeth at Show and Tell,  What she did have was a delighted captive audience.  Little admirers who to this day may carry around the misconception the State of Delaware could fit on the head of a pin.


Mo had her tonsils removed the same year.  She kept getting strep throat.   Our family doctor suggested a prophylactic antibiotic.  My sister, a nurse, said, “Forget that, she needs her tonsils out.”  So off we went to an ENT.  He concurred with Marilyn.  Surgery was scheduled.

As Mo came out of anesthesia I felt so bad for her.  Blood around her mouth, burning pain in her throat.  I took her home, settled her on the sofa with a bell to ring if she needed me.  Fed her Popsicles and ice cream.  She survived and never got strep again.

Mo was eager to return to school. She wanted to take her tonsils for Show and Tell.  I called the hospital, asked for the tonsils, they agreed to give them to me following biopsy.  I arrived fully expecting to get two plump pink tonsil-globs in a small styrofoam “to go” box.   What I got instead was a tiny jar filled with murky liquid in which floated slivers of chicken liver. The nurse assured me they were, in fact, tonsils, but I had my doubts. Mo had no expectations and happily presented her sliced and diced tonsils to her fellow classmates.



I did an internet search to see what other kids took for Show and Tell.  (Yes, I have too much time on my hands…)  If you also have a bit of spare time, copy and paste the following into your browser bar.  Mo’s tonsils are tame by comparison to some of these doozies.

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