Our church has a small café area that serves food on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. It used to be run by someone at the church, and then a few months ago, the job was taken over by a local bagel company. Ever since the bagel place moved in, I've seen a guy in there that looked really familiar. Every Sunday morning, it would bother me as I tried to figure out where/how I knew him. I kept trying to convince myself that he must have been someone from children's church when Alex was little or something, but that just didn't seem right. The place gets a lot of business between services, though, so I didn't want to take the time to disturb him to ask.
The first Sunday of each month, Alex and I volunteer in the 2 year old room during the second service. We'd been in a hurry to get to church on time ourselves for first service (we made it!) so we only grabbed a quick breakfast instead of the heartier meal I usually try to prepare on "First Sunday". I was a little bit hungry after our service, and Alex was starving. To avoid the temptation to eat all the cheez-it crackers we are supposed to serve the tots, we decided to get a bagel and split it, figuring that would tide us over until lunch when church was over. Sure enough, the mystery man was there. Ah ha! Now I can maybe figure it out….
When we reached the counter, he looked at Alex and said, "Wow, Alex, you've grown a little bit!" Ok, he obviously recognized us, and even knew Alex's name, so I wasn't imagining anything. Unfortunately, I still couldn't place him, and I was forced to ask. It turns out, he was the Assistant Principle at the school Alex attended for 5K-4th grade. He left after Alex's 2nd or 3rd grade year to join his father-in-law's bagel business. Obviously it worked out for him.
I was very relieved to finally connect those dots. It seriously bugged me every week when I saw him, and now I know. But that leaves me to wonder… he hasn't seen Alex in 6 years, yet there was no hesitation on his part at all. Does he really have a phenomenal memory for every one of the hundreds of kids he worked with, not to mention however many regular customers he's met since then, or did Alex just spend that much time in his office for not being able to sit still in class??