Welcome Back!teach To Be Happy

Posted By admin On 29/12/21

© 1998 Jess Mercer

Chapter 13

Our departmental meetings go as well as could be expected, though I can tell everyone is wondering how bad the shake up will be with Tor and me taking over. As far as Tor and I have observed, the summer session is going well. Without classes of our own, we visit the classes in session to evaluate the teaching. My new man is solid in the basics he's teaching, but I do have to remind him to give the students more lab work, and to train the graduate assistant to oversee the lab sessions. Tor has to come down hard on one of his new people. He gives the guy the rest of the summer semester to shape up.

With a long weekend for the 4th of July, it's a general consensus that we should all go back to our home at the beach. Sergei and Andy are thrilled, because Sergei can go swimming again.

Welcome back teach me how to cook French cuisine so my wife can learn to love me again! Ive moved on from the cooking world so its no biggie now i'm happy working. Holmquist Elementary - Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year by Kimberly Toney This newsletter was created with Smore, an online tool for creating beautiful newsletters for educators, nonprofits, businesses and more. It takes all my self control not to yell back 'teach them to make an effort.' That would be a waste though because I would be viewed as being harsh, and it would be twisted into them not making an effort because they sense some hostility from me, or some other nonsense. 'Hurts like hell,' Sergei fires back. 'Teach you to be careful,' Andy says. Sergei pops him on top of the head. 'Okay, guys, settle down,' Tor tells them. 'You seen enough?' 'Yeah,' Sergei says. Tor flips the lever opening the bottom to the tank so the contents drain back into the ocean. Deke watches with a frightened expression.


'Can we take Deke with us?' He asks.

'I think we can squeeze one more in, now that we have two more bedrooms,' I tell him. 'Have you guys kept up?'

'Yeah. He sends me an e-mail every day.'

'Please, Drew,' Andy chimes in. 'Deke's cool.'

'You guys go e-mail Deke now and be sure to tell him to have his mother call me. Give her our number,' I remind them.

They come down a few minutes later. 'Deke wants to go, but his mother won't let him unless she talks with you first. She wanted to know if they can come see you Sunday afternoon, so I told her okay.'

'Fine with us.'

'Let's do a cook-out,' Luc says. 'It'll give the boys a chance to get reacquainted.'

'Yeah! Hamburgers!' Sergei yells.

'You guys go back up and tell Deke to tell his mother to dress casual, that we're having the cook-out.'

They take off happily.

Sunday afternoon, Deke and his parents arrive. The three boys take off for the yard to kick a soccer ball around. Deke's parents look a little surprised at our three identical houses, and more than uncomfortable at the six adults dressed in shorts and T-shirts, hardware showing, though they relax some when Luc introduces Tommy and Andrea to them.

We take them in our house where it's cool. It's hot outside, not that the kids notice it.

'We appreciate your inviting Deke to the beach with you, but … ,' she avoids our looks.

'You're worried because four of us are gay?' Tor says.

Her face flushes. 'Uh … well, yes.'

'Mike, and I aren't,' Tommy says, 'and my wife certainly isn't. Tor and dad have no sexual interest in kids. They just enjoy having the kids around, and Andy and Sergei love them.'

'The boys certainly seem to enjoy Deke,' Andrea says.

'He thinks they're wonderful. You can't know how much it has meant to him to have contact with them through his computer. Some of the boys he used to enjoy being with don't seem too happy to be around him since …'

'That doesn't make a bit of difference to Andy and Sergei.'

Mrs. Atherton finally smiles. 'Obviously not. Deke couldn't wait to get here this afternoon.'

'I think he'll have an even better time with them at the beach. And you don't have to worry about him swimming. Drew, Tor, and Mike are superb swimmers, and they all have lifesaving certificates. We all swim well,' Andrea says.

'I had wondered. Deke used to swim pretty well, but now …'

'He'll learn to compensate quickly,' Stephan says. 'I did and I enjoy swimming, it's great exercise.'

Her eyes pop open. 'You can swim with just one leg and one arm?'

'Of course. That's another reason we'd like to have Deke along. Watching us, he'll see we can do anything we want. He can too, with the proper motivation.'

'I suppose it would be good for him to see that. We've tried real hard to do what you told us at the hospital, but when I see him struggling to do something I just have to help.'

'Like tying his shoes,' Mr. Atherton adds.

'Buy him loafers and some of those athletic shoes with velcro fastenings. Nothing wrong in using things that make life easier,' Stephan replies. 'I do it all the time. It would be stupid to do things the hard way.'

Mr. Atherton clears his throat, then looks at all of us with a serious expression. 'Since we met you in the hospital, you men have shown only concern for the wellbeing of our son, and given us excellent advice. I hope you won't be offended, but I'm quite honestly still uncomfortable with the fact that you're homosexual. However, Deke would be crushed if we didn't let him go to the beach with your sons, so I'm giving my permission.'

'I'm delighted,' Luc says. 'You will have no reason to regret it, I assure you.'

'Absolutely not,' Tommy adds. 'If it means anything, all six of us have PhD's and responsible positions at the University or Trinity College. My wife has a Masters degree and teaches at the University's school for children. We would hardly do anything to jeopardize our careers at this point.'

The man seems stunned when he looks at Tommy. 'I gathered your fathers were at the university, but I had no idea the rest of you held such posts. I thought you might be out of doors quite a bit with that deep tan.'

Tommy laughs. 'I'm half Cherokee, and Andrea is one-sixteenth. We haven't quite figured out what that makes Andy.'

'You're a very striking family. The contrast between Sergei and Andy makes them beautiful together,' Mrs. Atherton says. 'Since you're all teachers I hope you will give Deke some good advice on what he should study.'

Tor smiles, 'He's a little young at this point to know his real interests. When he's older we'll be glad to help him make a decision.'

'Tor, it's about time for you to start the bar-be-que,' Luc says. 'From what I'm hearing outside, the boys will have appetites pretty soon.'

'I'll join you,' Mr. Atherton says.

Only Andrea and Mrs. Atherton remain inside. It's cooled off enough to be pleasant, so Tommy fixes drinks for everyone while Mike, Luc, and Stephan bring out the food and Tor starts to grill the burgers.

'Son?' Mr. Atherton calls.

Deke comes running over. 'Sir?'

'You can go with Sergei and Andy to the beach.'

'Oh, boy!' He throws his arm around his dad in a hug.

'Yeah!' Both Andy and Sergei scream at the same time. 'Tor'll show you the aquarium at the institute,' Andy tell him. 'It's great.'

'Yeah. There's lots of cool places to see,' Sergei adds.

The first burgers off the grill go to the boys. They pile their buns high with relish, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Andy helps Deke with a grin, then they grab cans of soda and sit at a card table Luc brought over. The picnic table will accommodate the rest of us easily.

I see Mrs. Atherton looking at Deke as he struggles to hold his burger together. She might have gone to his aid had Andy not said, 'Use your stump like Tor does.'

I see her flinch at the word, but Deke lifts his just below the elbow stump to hold the top of the bun. He grins at Andy and takes a big bite.

She relaxes, and looks at me. 'Your grandson has a marvelous effect on Deke. This is the first time I've seen him attempt to use his arm.'

I shrug. 'Andy's so used to us it doesn't cross his mind that we're any different from anyone else. That's just how it should be. I saw you start to go help him. That's the worst thing you could do. It undermines his confidence in his ability to do things for himself.'

She smiles at me. 'Note taken. It's just so hard being a mother and seeing him struggle.'

'He'll learn. He'll have to being around those two. They'll help him if he really needs it, but that's all.'

'How did you learn so much about raising children, Dr. Torrence?'

'When Tor and I adopted Mike, we were at the institute. The director's wife is a child psychologist, a dear friend to all of us, and Mike and Tommy's godmother. She taught us an awful lot and saved us from making some mistakes. She also helps Luc and Stephan with Sergei.'

'You're so fortunate.'

'Line up everyone,' Tor calls.

The boys come rushing up for seconds.

'Good heavens, Deke, you aren't having another?' His mother says.

Without pausing, he waves his stump around. 'These are super good. I'm having a great time. I can't wait for the 4th.'

'I'm sure you'll have a nice time.'

'You know it! Andy and Sergei are so cool.'

Deke's parents relax and our evening with them is pleasant. Mr. Atherton asks us to call him Jim, and Mrs. Atherton, Nancy. When he tells us he's a dentist, I detect a note of regret when he adds, 'I was hoping Deke might want to study dentistry, but that's impossible now.'

'There are plenty of jobs in the sciences he can handle with no problem, if that's his interest. Drew and I had no difficulty in spending a lot of time underwater when we did our first book together. In fact, I can't think of many types of work where he would be at a disadvantage. It's up to him.'

'I'm glad to have your reassurance.'

'Then stop doing things for him and let him figure out how to do them for himself. Encourage him to do whatever he wants.'

'We'll try. It's just that this is so new to all of us.'

Tor points to the boys. Sergei has taken off his leg and they're all three wrestling on the ground. 'See what I mean?'

Deke is freely using his stump to fend off Sergei. 'Uh,' is all his father can say.

The boys get up and come for another soda. Sergei is hopping along on his one leg, keeping up with Andy and Deke, and laughing.

'This has been delightful,' Nancy says as they prepare to leave.

'Absolutely,' Jim adds. 'Next time I hope you will all come to see us.'

'A pleasure,' Tor tells them.

Who can account for kids? On the first of July, Sergei gets his new leg and comes running over to show us. He said he wanted a Terminator type, and now I see what he meant. It has a standard stump socket, but the rest is a carbon fibre strip like a flattened Y turned upside down.

'It's rad, Drew. It feels so good and I can run like the wind. Andy's gonna have a tough time keeping up with me now. Gee, I'm glad dad made me have my stump fixed.'

'We're glad, too.' Tor says.

When the Atherton's drop Deke off on Thursday, he takes one look at Sergei's new leg and says, 'Rad, man.' His parents just stare at it.

'Newest thing,' I tell them. 'Sergei loves it.'

'He's not self-conscious using something like that?' Nancy asks.

'Absolutely not! Andy's jealous because Sergei can out run him now.'

'I guess it's not much different than people wearing dentures,' Jim says.

'That's a good comparison, except it's difficult to tell someone's wearing dentures.'

'True. Let me get Deke's bag for you. I know you want to get on the road. I hope he won't need anything dressy.'

'Not a chance. He might need a jacket at night, but he can borrow one of Andy's. They're about the same size.'

'He did pack a sweater.'

'That's all he'll need.' I yell for them. 'Okay, boys, let's go. Deke come tell your parents goodbye.'

The boys insist on riding with Tor and me, leaving the others to go in Tommy's Buick. Tor and I ignore them unless they get too loud, as they do once or twice. But with them in the car the trip seems to take less time than usual.

At the house, Tommy spreads out three sleeping bags he's brought along in the room that used to be Tor's lab, and Mike takes the bed in my old darkroom. 'I'm going to kill the three of you if you wake me up tomorrow,' he tells the boys.

'Yeah, right,' Andy answers back. Mike pops him on the behind. Sergei and Deke giggle.

With nothing in the house to eat until we can do some shopping, we herd everyone back into the cars and go to the pier for dinner. I'm glad they're used to us there, because the owner welcomes us and gets two waitresses to push tables together to accommodate the ten of us. He does do a double take when Sergei prances over to the table on his hi-tech leg, followed by Deke, his stump clearly visible. I'm glad it's a slow night, because the boys are in high spirits and the noise we all make chatting is astounding.

We're finished with our dinner in time for us to stop at a supermarket on the way home. It's busy, so we're slow in making our purchases. Everyone votes for shrimp tomorrow, but I tell them I'll get them fresh from my usual source. Deke and Andy turn up their noses at the thought of a tossed salad to go with them, but Tommy settles the matter quickly.

We've no problem until Tor, the boys, and I are in the check-out line. A woman behind us looks at Deke and Sergei, and comments, 'Oh, those poor boys.'

Andy pipes up. 'We're not poor.'

Her face turns red, and I hasten to apologize, after I've knuckled Andy's head. 'Ouch,' he complains. 'What you do that for?'

'To remind you of your manners.' I look at her. 'I apologize for the way my grandson spoke to you, but the boys are perfectly normal.'

She shakes her head and says nothing. Secretly, I'm glad Andy set her straight; she deserved to be embarrassed. Sergei and Deke are grinning at Andy.

When we're back in the car I see Deke punch Andy with his stump. 'Ya sure told her,' he says.

'She shouldn't have said we're poor,' Andy replies.

I can see I'll have to set him straight on what she meant, but have second thoughts, because he doesn't see any difference between him and Sergei and Deke. Just the way we want him to think.

The beach is crowded, but we find a spot to spread our blankets. The boys can't wait to get into the water, so Mike and Tommy go with them while the rest of us shed our hardware. Seven amputees in a group draws some attention, but we pay no notice.

Mike has to go after Andy a couple of times, because he wants to go out far enough to ride the breakers in. Of course Sergei wants to do the same. Luc isn't the strongest swimmer I've ever seen, so I take him out. The first wave he rides in dumps him head over heels in the surf. Instead of being discouraged, he scrambles up and swims back to me. 'Again, Drew,' he yells.

Deke watches, then wants to try it, too. Tor takes him out, but when he's dumped, too, Deke decides he'd rather swim in the shallower water. Tor stands in the water watching him closely.

We finally herd the boys in and give them a coat of sunscreen. They're sitting on the blanket when a boy about their age who has been sitting with his parents on a blanket near us, comes over. 'You wanna toss a frisbee around some?' he asks Andy.


'You guys, too?' He asks Deke and Sergei.

'Yeah. We'll take on you and Andy,' Sergei says. 'Let me get my leg.'

The kid watches Sergei, his mouth open. 'Wow! That's rad!' He exclaims.

'Yeah. Go for it.' He throws the frisbee well. The kid reaches it before Andy and tosses it back. Deke reaches for it with his stump, and mumbles, 'shit,' when it sails past him.

Sergei runs back with it. 'Use your hand, stupid.'

Deke grins.

The boy's parents look over at us with smiles. 'I imagine they keep your hands full,' his father says.

'You don't know the half of it. Deke is visiting. But Andy and Sergei can wear me down in nothing flat.'

'It's good to see them having fun.'

I know he means in spite of their handicaps. 'They have no idea they're different in any way from other boys.'

'Nor should they. I'm a prosthetist, so I couldn't resist checking out your prosthetics. The blond boy has the best leg he could have for active kids. But isn't the one armed kid going to get a prosthesis?'

'That's Deke. He's still adjusting, so he hasn't decided. He does like the myeoelectric Tor has.'

'Personally I wouldn't recommend it at his age. A standard hook is far more rugged.'

'He's afraid he'll get teased about it at school, and his parents are still trying to adjust as well.'

He nods. 'Children can be cruel at times.'

I nod. 'Sergei has already threatened to kick butt when he goes back to school. He'll do it, too.'

'Good for him. The way he came on the beach, he's obviously proud of his leg.'

'He's just gotten it. He calls it the Terminator.'

The man laughs. 'Great. I'll have to remember that. Might help the next kid I fit if he's into that sort of movie.'

'Show me one his age that isn't. Our two love science fiction.'

Tommy puts two fingers in his mouth and lets out his usual ear-splitting whistle. The kids come running up. 'Okay, guys, time to go home for lunch.'

'Aw, do we have to, dad?' Andy asks.

'Yes. Sergei is about to get sunburned.'

'You guys coming back?' The prosthetist's son asks.

Tommy shakes his head. 'Not today. We may be back tomorrow.'

'I hope so. We'll be here and the guys are fun.'

'If you don't have other plans, there's a big fireworks display on the island tonight. Your son might enjoy it. If you come to the waterfront park about eight-thirty they have food, too. It's a nice event.'

Welcome back teach to be happy pdf

'We may. Thanks for telling me.'

'Jeff's fun,' Deke says on the way home.

'Yeah. He's cool.'

'I think I wanna get a hook,' Deke announces.

'Why?' Andy asks.

'So I can throw a frisbee with it. I'm right handed.'

'You'll like it once you get used to it,' Tor tells him.

'Is that why you wear yours so much instead of the hand?'

'You've got it.'

'I wish I could type with it. I'm slow on my computer.'

'That's easy. Hold a pencil upside down in your hook and type with the eraser end.'

Deke grins. 'I'll try that when I get it.'

'Get one as soon as you can so you can learn to use it before school starts.'

'I wish I went to the same school as Sergei and Andy. I like them a lot.'

'Wish you did, too,' Andy says. 'You're cool.'

After we've all showered and had sandwiches for lunch, Tor calls Dave to see if he can get keys to the institute. Dave must not be home for Tor gets the answering machine. He leaves a message. The boys are disappointed, but Tor tells them Dave will call, and sends them out to play, while we get some rest.

About four I hear someone drive up, so I get up and go to the door. There's no mistaking the old pickup. 'Gary, good to see you. Come on in.'

He climbs out and shakes my hand. 'Can't stay. Just saw that car,' he points to Tommy's Buick, 'an' didn't know who it was.'


'That's Tommy's. Took two cars to get us all down here.'

'I ain't seen him ner Mike fer quite a spell. They doing alright?'

'Fine.' I yell for them to come out. After they've chatted for a few minutes, Gary turns to leave.

'Gary, do you have any shrimp on hand?'

'Got a few. How many you want?'

'Ten pounds would be good.'

'Got that many. You want me to bring 'em by tomorrow?'

'We can come get them.'

'Ain't no call to. I gotta come in anyway, cause Dave wants me to take the boat out for a trial run. Ya'll wanna take a short ride with me? Bet Tor's done forgot how to handle 'er.'

'That would be great. There's ten of us,' Mike tell him.

He shrugs. 'Ain't no problem. Carry more students than that.'

Welcome Back Teach To Be Happy Quotes

Just then the boys come around the side of the house and skid to a halt when they see Gary.

'That 'n yourn?' Gary asks Tommy, pointing to Andy.

'Sure is. Come here and say hi to Cap'n Gary,' Tommy says.

'Hi, Cap'n.'

'He's sure growd since I last saw him. Who's them two?'

'The blond is Sergei, Luc and Stephan's son. You remember them?'

'Can't say's I do.'

'The other one is Deke Atherton. He's a friend of Andy and Sergei.'

'You boys wanna go out on the boat tomorrow?' Gary asks.

'Yeah! Is it the big one?' Andy asks.

'Sure is.'

'Wow! I never been on a boat before,' Sergei yells.

'Me neither,' Deke adds.

'Then you gotta do what me and Tor tell you.'


'Tell your momma her daddy was down a couple of weeks ago. We got some nice flounder,' he says to Andy.

'I will.'

We decide to go to the fireworks early and eat there. The boys are excited, but Tommy tells them sternly not to wander off. We all look around at the craft exhibits, then get the boys burgers and fries while the rest of us try a new addition, fish and chips.

Mine are okay, but don't come close to the ones Mike, Tor, and I enjoyed in England. Mike says his are great, but there's something missing. Then it hits him. 'It's the tomato sauce they had!' He exclaims.

'The fish was better there, too,' I remind him.

'The pieces were a lot bigger, that's for sure.'

The fireworks are spectacular. I enjoy them as much as ever, and the kids are awed. Their only disappointment was that they didn't see Jeff anywhere.

The boys sleep later than usual, so are ready to go to the beach the minute they finish breakfast. They're so eager to go Tor and I take them ahead.

We find Jeff and his parents almost in the same place as yesterday. The boys start playing together almost immediately, while Jeff's parents greet us warmly.

'We're so glad you came. Jeffy would have been terribly disappointed.'

I shake my head. 'We had to come ahead of the others. The boys wouldn't give us a minute of peace.'

'Are you on vacation?' He asks.

'Just for the long weekend. We have a house on the island, but we're now live just outside Chapel Hill,' Tor says. 'I'm Tor Torrence and this is Drew Torrence.'

'Mark Wilkinson. My wife Donna. Guess you know by now our son's name is Jeff.'

We exchange pleasantries and chat while watching the boys throwing the frisbee. Tommy and the rest show up and we all sit together after making the introductions.

When Andy comes up to Tor ready to go swimming, he asks, 'Can Jeff go with us on the boat?'

'I'm sorry, Andy, but only teachers and students are allowed.'


'Sorry, babe, but I have to follow rules, too.'

'You do?'

'Certainly. When we're on the boat, Gary is the boss because he's the captain.'


'That's why you guys are going to have to do what he tells you, and no argument.'


When we're ready to leave for lunch, Jeff asks, 'Will you be back tomorrow?'

Andy looks at Tor. 'Sorry, Jeff, but I don't think so. We'll have to leave for home right after lunch,' Tor says.

'Aw, gee. I sure like you guys.'

'We like you, too, dude. You got e-mail?' Deke asks.

'Yeah. Dad, you got a piece of paper?'

'Sorry. Go to our room and write it down. Deke can go with you.'

All four boys take off at a dead run. Mark looks at Luc. 'Sergei is an unusual name.'

'Steph and I adopted him seven years ago. He's from what is now Bosnia.'

'Oh. That explains his leg, then. Terrible for kids to be in a place with so many mines.'

'It is. Fortunately, Sergei doesn't remember all that much about it. It did take quite a while to get him to understand that planes going over weren't going to drop bombs.'

'How sad,' Donna comments. 'He's an adorable child and so happy.'

'The light of our life. We both fell in love with him the minute we saw him.'

'He and Andy seem as close as brothers.'


'They might as well be. We live next door to Tom and Andrea, but the boys are equally at home in either place. Now that Tor and Drew live just across the street the boys are likely to be anywhere.'

'I wish we had family so close to us. Jeffy would love it.'

'Okay, guys, we gotta get going,' Tor tells them when they come running back, 'Luc and the others have already gone.'

The boat trip is a big success. Once Gary has the engines warmed up, and Mike and Tor have cast off the lines, Tor takes the boys up to the bridge. I stand below in case one of the boys slips. When Sergei has trouble on the ladder with his foot, he pulls himself up with his arms and good foot. Watching him, Deke goes up next, hooking his stump over the next rung and scampering up easily.

'Nicely done, Deke,' Tor tells him. 'Your stump will be very useful as you learn to use it.' Deke flushes with pride.

Gary lets Tor take the helm for a few minutes, and nods in approval. 'You forgot lees than I thought you would.'

'I'm not that old, Gary.'

'Never said you was, but you ain't been out in a long time.'

'I miss it, too. Are we still in fairly deep water?'

Gary nods. 'Fer the next few minutes. Why?'

Tor reaches over and pulls Deke in front of him, placing his hand on one spoke of the wheel, his stump over the other, then turns loose the wheel. 'It's your ship, Captain. Don't run us aground.'

Deke looks at him in surprise, then concentrates on holding the wheel firmly. Tor reaches above him to correct once. Deke's smile spreads from ear to ear. After a minute or so, Sergei says, 'Sergei drive boat.'

'Okay. Your turn.'

Deke reluctantly lets go and Sergei takes his place. Gary pats Deke on the shoulder. 'You did good. I run my dad's boat when I was your age.'

'You did?'

'Kids learn early down here. I had my own skiff and an outboard when I was seven.'

'Really? I wish we lived here. That'd be fun.'

'Andy, your turn,' Tor says.

Andy takes over and needs no correction. He's done this once or twice before when he's come down with us.

Gary takes over. 'Coming to the channel, Andy.'

'Okay. Thanks, Cap'n.' He salutes Gary. Gary returns the salute with a grin.

The boys would have happily stayed on the bridge, but knowing Gary needs no distraction as he threads the boat through the treacherous channel to the ocean, Tor chases them down to the main deck. 'Down the ladder, guys, it's going to get rough in a minute or two.'

Sergei runs to Luc and Stephan. 'I drove the boat!' He yells.

'Me, too,' Deke adds.

'The captain is a nice man, isn't he?' Mike asks.

'I like Gary,' Sergei says.

'It's Captain Parsons, Sergei.'


Deke almost falls when the boat begins to rock gently in the swells. Andy grabs him and shows him how to spread his legs for balance.

'Okay, guys, sit down, now.' Andrea opens the small cooler she brought along. 'Here's sodas for you.'

I'm amused when Deke starts toward her, holding his arms out for balance. Andy has to grab him a couple of times, while Sergei saunters calmly over.

'How you stay up so well?' Deke asks when they're seated again.

Sergei holds up his new leg so they can see the studded rubber pads on the bottom. 'It's easy with this leg.'

'You're lucky,' Deke says with envy, then looks at Tor. 'How'd you learn to drive a boat like this?'

'It's part of my job. Wait a minute.' Tor yells to the bridge, 'Hey, Gary, okay if I throw over the small seine?'

'If you wash it when we get in. When we're in the Stream I'll throttle back.'

When the boat slows, Tor throws the net over, while I fill the small tank. After a few minutes, I help him haul it in. There's little besides the usual junk, a few small fish, a star fish, a crab or two, a live conch, and most unusual, a seahorse. It's rare to find one of these in this area. I go down to the lab and find a gallon jar. After filling it with sea water from the tank, I gently put the seahorse in, and hand it to Tor to show the boys. The boys are fascinated, but everyone else has gathered around as well.

'How does he swim?' Andy asks.

'See his little fins? He uses those like you use your arms.'

'How come his tail curls like that?' Deke asks.

'He's not a very strong swimmer, so when the water is moving fast, he curls his tail around a piece of seaweed and hangs on.'

The poor creature is frantic, so Tor pours him back into the ocean after everyone has seen him. 'You're really lucky, guys. Don't often see one of those.'

'Why couldn't we keep him?' Andy asks.

'He probably has a family somewhere he wants to get back to. You wouldn't want anybody to take your dad away, would you?'


'Okay, then. I'm happy you got to see him. Let's look at the other things we caught.' The boys gather around the tank as Tor points out each thing. When he picks up the starfish and holds it out to Sergei, Sergei backs off. 'Unh,unh!'

'He won't hurt you.'

Sergei shakes his head. Deke sticks out his hand. The starfish tries to crawl along it. Deke giggles and drops it in the tank. 'Feels funny.'

The minute Tor picks up the conch and flips it over, the conch retreats into the shell. 'This is a conch.'

'Aw, we see those shells all the time,' Andy says.

'They're pretty common. Want Drew to make chowder out of 'im?'

Andy wrinkles his nose. 'Naa. Looks too much like a snail.'

'You eat them?' Deke says with a look of incredulity.

'Sure. It's a lot like clam chowder.'

'No way.'

Seeing Andy trying to catch a little fish with his hand, Sergei tries, too. 'Ouch!' he suddenly yells. A crab is clinging to his finger.

Tor pulls it off, and Sergei pops his injured finger in his mouth sucking on it. Tor is snickering. 'Your finger must taste good to him.'

'Hurts like hell,' Sergei fires back.

'Teach you to be careful,' Andy says.

Sergei pops him on top of the head. 'Not funny.'

'Okay, guys, settle down,' Tor tells them. 'You seen enough?'

'Yeah,' Sergei says.

Tor flips the lever opening the bottom to the tank so the contents drain back into the ocean. Deke watches with a frightened expression. 'We gonna sink?'

'No. Why?'

'That hole was open to the water.'

'It's made to. This is just a small tank. There's a bigger tank back there, but the entire hull would have to fill with water for us to sink. This is a very safe ship.'

'Heading back in,' Gary calls. 'Come on up here, Tor, you need the practice.'

When we're back at the dock and tied up, Tor, Mike, and I drape the seine over the rack and wash it down with the hose, while the others talk to Gary.

Deke is last. He instinctively holds out his stump. 'Thank you, sir. It was really cool driving the boat.'

Gary calmly shakes it. 'Glad to have you aboard, Deke. You come back sometime.' Deke looks at his stump in amazement.

Dave and Martha come over for drinks and dinner with us. To our surprise, Andy and Sergei take Martha's kisses without a word, but Deke is surprised when he gets one, too, before they run off.

'What a handsome young man,' Martha says. 'Where did you find him?'

'He was Sergei's roommate in the hospital. They got along well and have kept in touch by e-mail ever since.' Luc tells her.

'I'm glad he found such accepting friends. Andy and Sergei will do wonders for him.'

'They have already. He was scared over how others would see him.' Stephan says. 'But he's learned we don't care, so he's getting over a little of his sensitivity.'

'It's very hard for a child his age to accept being different. He's at the point where the herd instinct kicks in.' She smiles. 'Sergei, on the other hand, is getting to be quite a little exhibitionist.'

Luc grins. 'He loves to show off his new leg.'

'I don't encourage such a tendency, but in his case, good for him.'

It's too sultry to eat outside in comfort, so we crowd around the dining room table, the boys in the kitchen. Poor Deke has no idea how to peel a shrimp with one arm, so Andy and Sergei do them for him.

'Want me to dunk 'em for you?' Andy asks.

Deke reaches over and hits him on top of the head with his stump. 'I don't need two arms to do that.'

Martha looks at me and smiles. 'Didn't take Andy and Sergei long to break him down.'

'That's why we brought him along. His parents can't bring themselves to not help him.'

'Mistake,' Martha says.

'We've told them several times. I think we're getting through to them at last.' Stephan tells her.

'I hope so. Deke needs to be as independent as possible.'

It's a real battle to get the boys ready to leave for home, even the adults are reluctant. 'I hate to go back,' Mike says. 'This has been so much fun.'

'Yeah. Brought back all the memories of how you and Tor took us in when we really needed someone. This really feels like home to me,' Luc says.

'We're glad, Luc,' Tor tells him. 'You know you can have the key any time.'

Stephan laughs. 'You think we'll get a chance to come back alone? Never happen long as Sergei's around. And Andy would have to come, too.'

When we're home, I ask Deke if he wants us to take him home. 'No, sir. I'll call my dad and he'll come for me.'

'Okay. There's the phone.'

After Deke has talked with his father, he goes over to Tor. 'Could I see your hook, sir.'

'Of course.' Tor unbuttons his shirt and slips his hook off. 'Let's try it on you, Deke. It's going to be short, but you can tell how it feels.' He slips Deke's stump into the socket and tightens the straps over his shoulder.

'Feels heavy.'

'It's not as heavy as your arm was. Try lifting it.'

Deke struggles, but finally holds it up. 'How do you open it?'

Tor shows him how to move his left shoulder to open the hook. 'Well?'

'It's hard, sir.'

'It is at first, but after your muscles build back up it's easy.'

'Why is your electric arm hard to use?'

'You have to learn to control individual muscles. It takes quite a while to become proficient with it. I think you'll like a hook better. Sergei's dad likes his so much he won't even try the myeoelectric type.'

Deke is still looking at the hook. 'Would you like a soda, Deke?'

'Yes, sir.'

Welcome Back Teach To Be Happy Pdf

'Good. Keep the hook on and see if you can use it.' Tor gets him a can, helps him open the hook to hold the can. Deke pops the tab with his hand, and starts to switch the can to his hand, but Tor stops him. 'Use the hook.'

Deke opens it enough to turn the can so the opening is right, then lifts it and takes a drink. He grins. 'That was neat.'

'You did well for the first time and a hook that doesn't fit. When you get one made to fit your stump, you'll find it very useful.'

'Can I write with it?'

'You can, but it takes a lot of learning. You might like using your hand better.'

Andy comes in. 'Look, Andy! Tor let me try his hook.'

'Cool. I like it.'

'You do?'

'Sure, man. It'll be great if you have to pick up anything nasty like that starfish.'

Tor thumps him on the head. 'A starfish is not nasty, and you know it.'

Welcome back teach to be happy movie

'Maybe, but that conch was slimy.'

Deke grins. 'Yeah. I figured it would be good for something. I'm gonna ask dad to get me one.'

'If you do, have him call me and I'll recommend a good prosthetist for you.'


'It's about time for your parents to be here, Deke, so let me help you out of it.'

'Can I keep it on so they can see it?'

'If you want.'

When they arrive, Deke's mother looks at him, gasps, and immediately sits down heavily in a chair. She visibly flinches when Deke hugs her using both arms.

His father looks astounded. 'Where did you get that, Deke?'

Deke grins. 'It's Tor's. He told me all about it and let me try it so I could see if I could work it. I want one.'

'If you're sure, son.'

'I am. Sergei's dad and Tor use them just like real hands, and Tor said he'd tell you where to get a good one that fits me.'

'I'll be happy to have his help, but you shouldn't be calling Dr. Torrence, Tor.'

'Andy and Sergei do.'

'That's quite all right, Jim. There are so many Torrences it's easier if he calls us by our first names.'

'I don't approve, but if you prefer it …'

'We do. I hope we'll get to see a lot of Deke, Andy and Sergei had a wonderful time with him.'

'I got to drive this awesome big boat,' Deke says proudly.

'How on earth?'

'The captain of the marine institute's research vessel is a long time friend. He took us out yesterday afternoon, so he let each boy have a minute or two at the wheel in safe water. I'm also a licensed captain, so it was perfectly safe,' Tor explains.

'Tor caught a lot of stuff in a net. There was this awesome little seahorse. He told me all about it, an' a crab latched on to Sergei's finger. You should have heard him yell.'

'I think you enjoyed yourself.' Jim says.

'I did! It was rad! Oh, man, I can't wait to go back. And there was awesome fireworks on the 4th. I've never had such a good time before.'

'That's wonderful, Deke. Now thank these kind people; we have to go.' His mother tells him.

'I wish I could stay.' He looks at Tor. 'How do I get your hook off?'

'I'll help you. When you get one made to fit your stump properly, it's very easy. You just slip out of the harness.'

'May I call you about a prosthetist?' Jim asks.

'The best I've used is connected with the university's hospital. I particularly like this man, and I'll be glad to set up an appointment with him for Deke. Drew and I will be happy to go with you.'

'That's very kind of you. I'll check my calendar and let you know when I have a free day.'

'I suggest you not wait. Deke needs to start learning to use it as soon as possible.'

Andy comes running back with Sergei in tow. 'I wish you didn't have to go home, Deke.'

'Me, too,' Sergei adds. 'You gotta come back real soon. Send me some mail, too.'

'I will. It's really been cool, dudes.'

We all gather to see them leave. Deke's leaning out the window waving his stump as his father turns the corner.

'Damn nice kid,' Luc says.

Welcome Back Teach To Be Happy Book

'He's welcome any time far as I'm concerned,' Andrea says.

It's been a wonderful weekend, but Tor and I are happy to have our drink and dinner together without anyone else around.

Previous Chapter
Next Chapter

Welcome Back Teach To Be Happy Movie