The Magic of the Season

December 6, 2009 at 7:28 pm 4 comments

Not Cinderella, but Arian.

Not a ball, but a Big Brothers/Big Sisters Christmas party.

Not a fairy godmother who can grant every wish, but a group of adults who wish this day brings joy.

My job? To be a Big; to ‘connect’ with one of the Littles as they walk thru the door. I’m not sure how that is going to work, but as it turns out Arian finds me. We will  be partners for the rest of the morning.

It is slow going at first. Too many people in a crowded space; too many adults trying too hard to connect—me too. But Arian and I are both committed to making this a fun morning. We make our way to the craft table – construction paper and stamp pads and stamps and glitter and markers. She makes a card. We talk a little. She smiles a lot. From there we find a place at the ceramic painting table. She chooses an elephant. She needs gray for the body and trunk, blue for the eyes, and yellow for the tail. She holds the elephant gently, working hard not to smear the paint. The table grows crowded. I need to give up my chair so another Little can paint. The room grows loud. The Bigs are chatting as their Littles paint. Arian’s eyes search the room from time to time. When she spots me, she smiles. Elephant done!

On to the ice cream sundaes – make your own; pile as many toppings on top of two scoops of ice cream as the bowl will hold. “Can I make one for you too?” she asks.  “Of course!” I answer. We find a quiet spot to sit, near the Christmas tree.  It is only 10:00 in the morning. There is ice cream and oreo cookies and m&m’s and crushed toffee bars and rainbow sprinkles and inches of chocolate syrup in my bowl. I can hardly eat it. I eat it all. Arian smiles. “Did I do a good job, Ms Sue?”

Here, by the tree, it is a great place to eat ice cream and to get to know one another. The lights, the carols, a little less noise, a chance to talk.

“Ms Sue? They don’t like me at my school – the kids are mean.”

“I like to read and write Ms Sue.”

“I’m good at math, Ms Sue, but my teacher yells at me.”

“Ms Sue, do you think I can scoop chocolate syrup for other people?”

Why not? From personal experience I know she is very good at that. Back to the kitchen we go to offer help to everyone in need of an extra large serving of chocolate syrup. It makes her feel important, standing behind the table with the other adults.

A chat with Santa. A gift to unwrap. Nearly time for her aunt to come. From my pocket I remove the card I secretly made for her while she was busy at the craft table. ‘Merry Christmas’, it says, ‘You are a gift to me.’

She smiles again. This time it reaches her eyes.

“Let’s not waste any time! Let’s play hangman. You go first.” I say. So she draws the gallows. She draws the lines at the bottom of the page. I begin to guess the letters. It takes me awhile, but I finally figure out her hangman message. It reads, ‘Thank you Ms. Sue for being with me today.”

Her smile is huge.

And so is mine.

When it is time for her to go, we hug. I walk her to the door and then we hug again. As she walks down the hall I am still watching and hoping she’ll turn to smile one more time. I don’t want this time to end. But the clock strikes twelve and it is time for her to hurry away. And then, just as she steps outside, she turns to smile and wave one more time.

It is not a magic wand she waves, but it is magic all the same.


Entry filed under: Living Out Loud.

Boxes from the Basement Pajama Night Delight

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lainie  |  December 6, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Sue, so great to “see” you in the blogosphere! I always enjoy reading what you have to say. Keep ’em coming!

  • 2. Granny Sue  |  December 7, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Nice to see you in blogworld, Sue. Your writing is always thoughtful and thought-provoking. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  • 3. Debra Morningstar  |  December 8, 2009 at 2:24 am

    Ohhh Sue!
    Wonderful writings!
    Thank you!
    Just what I needed today!!


  • 4. Simon Brooks  |  December 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Sue, this is beautiful. Heart rendingly brilliant and so true.
    Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Wait, Wait, There’s More!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 26 other followers

%d bloggers like this: