Me, saying something random that popped into my head: I challenge you to remember something that you did when you were one year old!
J, loudly: I stole candy while I was sitting in the grocery cart and my mother wasn't looking!
Me: You were a terrible baby. Did you get away with it?
J, laughing: She didn't see me! But then she turned around and I had a fistful of candy!
L., chipping in: I stole candy too! When I was older. But then I threw it all away.
Me: That's like me. In my whole life the only thing I ever stole was a pack of gum when I was 5 years old.
****It gets quiet in the room...the teacher stole something?****
Me: I was only 5 years old! (holding my hand just above waist height.)
D, creating a welcome diversion: You were a huge 5 year-old! That's almost as big as me!
Me: Stand up. See? Not as tall as you.
Them, back on-task: You stole gum? What did you do? Who were you with?
Me: I was with my mother, who was distracted at the cash register. I can still see it, the slanting rack, with rows of Juicy Fruit gum, right at my eye level. The packs were yellow.
L, interrupting: With blue words...
Me: It was easy. I reached up and took a pack, and put it in my pocket. I will never ever forget that moment. Nobody else noticed.
Me, continuing: The next day I went to kindergarten, which was maybe 3 hours long. I got on the school bus to go home, and walked waaaay to the back, with the bad kids, to sit down. I took the pack of gum out of my pocket. I opened it up and inhaled its fragrance. Then I quickly gave it all away, every piece. I was like Robin Hood, sharing the wealth, right? But I never told my parents and I never forgot what I did.
G., loudly: FIFTY YEARS LATER, and you still haven't told your parents?
*******Collective gasp and giggles, as students tell G that "FIFTY" is way off and insulting.******
Me (laughing hard b/c I'm 62 years old): That's right! SEVENTY years later and I haven't said a word! And I haven't forgotten what I did.
Them, moving on: But you told us?
Me: Yes. Of course I have told you! Now let's get to work.
15 minutes later: The quietest, shyest boy in the class comes up to me and says in a soft voice: You should paint a picture of it, that rack of gum...
******You know, maybe some day I will.******