The Teller

As predictable as Houston weather are my Tuesday deposits.  Each week the drive-through window at our bank greets my big red fifteen-passenger van. Since the bank was recently bought out and the new staff was ushered in I have felt unknown, almost as if we moved and were starting over. I like to know my tellers, but because the change of guards came at a busy time for me, I had not made the effort to befriend my new neighborly tellers. Feeling anonymous with my tinted windows, I pulled up to the bank shaft, reached in, retrieved the tube, filled it with my deposit and replaced it into the shaft to be sucked back up over my car and into the teller’s hands. All the while I was on the phone with my seventeen-year-old giving him motherly instruction about money management and becoming a man when the teller interrupted, “Is this Terri Bonin?”

“Hold on, sweetie,” I softly said to my son so she would not think I was talking to her.

“Yes, do you need my license?” I leaned toward the speaker.

“No, don’t you have a seventeen-year-old son who banks here?” she continued.

Thinking, Oh no, why! but instead I said, “Yes,” while holding my breath.

“He is such a respectable young man. You should be proud. It is rare to see a young man his age so responsible.” She reported through the speaker for my son and anyone else to hear.

Whew! That was a close one. I am quite aware as the mother of nine kids that I am a breath away from being embarrassed or proud, or both on any given day. Today my son and I got a lift and I think we both needed it. Even though it is hard for me to practice 100% of the time, I have learned that a person will rise to the occasion of praise more often than they will crawl out from under the heaviness of condemnation. My oldest offspring and I laughed at the unexpected praise, said our “I love you-s” and “goodbyes” and went on about our day trying to be respectable and responsible. I wonder if there is a double meaning to the title “Teller”?

(Taken from Live, Love, Laugh and Laundry? by Terri Bonin)