One cannot help but enjoy talking with Vandalia Elementary student Ben Thomason. While we spoke on Ben’s eighth birthday, he remained focused and engaged in the conversation. I wouldn’t have even realized it was his special day if someone hadn’t told me. His excitement is infectious as he effortlessly shares stories that draw you in. I found myself leaning in, intrigued to hear what Ben shared next as he jumped from subject to subject with comfort and ease. It is hard to believe that Ben’s only in second grade.
Fishing, French Fries, and Home Runs
Ben has two sisters, one older and one younger. His older sister is twelve, whereas his younger sister is three and will start preschool next year. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Ben doesn’t hesitate, sharing that he dreams of being a doctor or a nurse like his mom. His pride is evident as he shares that his mom serves forty-plus patients throughout a busy shift. His favorite subject is reading, and he greatly enjoys the challenge of longer, chapter-based books.
When asked about his favorite thing to do, Ben supplies a steady list, including watching movies, playing outside, swimming, and fishing. He enjoys it when his father, godfather, or Grandpa Ron takes him to the nearby lakes. While his family has mastered catching bass and bluegill, fishing for crappie and catfish is still a struggle. He considers fried fish and french fries his favorite meal, appreciating the meal he helped catch.
When it comes to sports, Ben enjoys playing soccer and baseball. He enjoys playing every position on the baseball field. Still, he gets excited when it’s his turn to bat and has a swing capable of sending the ball through the neighborhood. He shares that he hit three home runs last year, including one that went ‘down a hill, over a road, and through a ditch.’
Ben recently got a new bat, sharing, “Me and my neighbor traded bats on the last game of the season. We both hit a home run, so we traded bats for life.” He considers his neighbor, Garrett, his best friend. He enjoys playing holiday-themed games such as Turkey, Turkey, Potato, a game similar in nature to Duck, Duck Goose, only with a focus on Thanksgiving dinner.
Ben loves spending time with his animals and playing the family’s Nintendo Switch when at home. He received two new games and a see-through Super Mario-themed controller for his birthday and is excited to go home and play his new racing game. He’s looking forward to building his own car.
The family also shares a tank of tropical fish that includes angel fish, zebra fish, and snails. They also have two cats and a border collie, which sleeps with Ben nightly. From opening his new switch games in the morning to curling up with his border collie this evening, it’s hard to imagine a childhood richer than Ben’s. I hope that one day when I retire, I’ll be able to enjoy a light-hearted story or two with a doctor as personal and engaged as Dr. Ben Thomason.