Sunday, July 11, 2010

What's in a Nametag?

We have spent years and hundreds of dollars working on some permutation of an appropriate greeting goal for Reid. The wording has changed over time as we process from preschool to high school but even to the untrained eye, it sounds pretty similar. Call it what you will: Good morning Miss Sue...hello I'm Reid...yo...high five...knuckles...handshake. Teams of teachers, speech therapists, tutors, and helpful adults plug away for the prize: a spontaneous greeting from Reid.

Little do they know the eruption of pleasure Reid spontaneously bestows on those he knows and loves (e.g. those he knows love him). Just ask Carla who was nearly accosted at the door everyday she'd arrive to visit. Or my mom when we deboard the plane in Nantucket. Reid can greet!! In fact, no one makes you feel as important as Reid does with a greeting.

At this point it's clear to me that Reid knows what an appropriate greeting is, how it wins social favor and influences people. He is also in full control of when he wants to use one.

Case in point: Reid and I frequent three Rubio's stores in the area. Whether after school, Saturday after a hike, or a night I don't feel like cooking, he is always game for some fresh Mex at this San Diego establishment.

Recently after ordering, we waited for our food to be ready.

"Order for Kim" came blasting over the microphone.

Reid was hovering at the pick up counter waiting for his familiar take out bag. A girl walked up giving nonverbal "excuse me cues," when I heard his cracking adolescent voice, "Oh hi Kim!"

She startled pleasantly and returned, "hi."

Great pick up line? Perhaps.

The same day at Vons, our local grocery store, he was negotiating to buy a video or Tracphon at the customer service counter. At the time, my best strategy seemed to be to get him to agree to leave it on hold with the clerk until we could "go home and talk to dad about phone plans." (He has yet to grasp how the monthly billing concept differs from the purchase price.)

"Ok," he acquiesced. Then boldly, "Celeste, how much is this?" he propositioned the clerk wearing the name badge. He is so endearing and genuine, I think if he'd have asked for her phone number, she would've written it down for him.

At Henry's, our other local market, he never fails to call the checker by name when asking for a balloon. Why don't teachers and speech therapists simply wear nametags if they insist on profuse greetings?

In my book, the greeting goal can go. It's been mastered.

As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
Mark 9:14-16

Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.
Genesis 32:28-30


  1. i will NEVER forget reid's enthusiastic greeting when i met him last year. "Well hello Nicole C. Mullen." he flattered me, charmed me, endeared me to him forever. =)

  2. Kelly (Reid's Teacher!)December 17, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    100% mastered!!! especially towards his 1 female schoolmate!! Reid's greetings actually make my entire day!