a gift from sam
It’s not even my birthday, and I received a present tonight. You know it’s going to be great when an almost toothless seven year old grins and giggles and keeps his hands behind his back, even though he’s squirming so much there’s a pretty good chance that you see behind his back before the reveal. Only I didn’t peek. I like surprises.
“I made you something,” he says. I try not to focus on the askew tooth that needed pulled three days ago, but he likes it hanging on by threads. “I know you like my animals, but I was thinking about you when I was walking in line today and decided to make you something extra special.”
He could have stopped there. My heart had already melted. He was thinking about me at school today. “Are you ready?”
I smile, nod, smile. “I can’t wait,” I say.
“I know,” he confirms, “This is really good. So…here you go!”
He holds out a homemade giant yellow pencil. I smile, because it is a pretty great gift. I didn’t realize it was about to get better.
|A gift from Sam.|
“I know sometimes it’s hard to write and I thought this would make it easier.”
He turns it over. “And I put your name on the back. I don’t want anyone to take it. I think this is going to be a magic pencil. It’s the kind that gets writers on lists.”
I take the pencil, revering it the way fine art ought to be revered. “What kind of list?” I ask.
“Ohhh, you know, like the ones with gold medal stickers on the covers and those lists that mean everybody wants to read your book.”
I laugh. Oh those lists. This kid dreams big.“Wow, this is some gift. I can’t believe you made it for me. Thank you.”
He hugs me. “I love you, Mom. I’m glad you write.”
You know, this is one more reason to keep writing, even on the days when it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s a reminder that it does matter, not because of the “lists” — I don’t write for them, anyway — but because it matters to him that I write and maybe, someday he will write too. And little by little the stories (mine, his, theirs, yours) will pile up and together they will change the world.
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