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Wrecked On The Inside

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There are three absolutes where Motherhood is concerned: you will love your child more than words can express, you will worry about your child for the rest of your life, and your child will embarrass you so bad you’ll give serious consideration to dropping off the grid.

Last evening my 11-year old son Zachary and I were going through our Christmas ornaments. A tattered, tin Santa (missing both arms) emerged from the large Rubbermaid storage bin prompting Zach to ask, ‘Remember when I gave you that, mama?’

‘I sure do!’ I dove into the large box in search of Santa’s limbs. ‘How old were you when you gave mama that ornament?’

‘I was in the 3rd grade, I think. I won him playing Dirty Santa at school.’

I paused and mentally rifled through my catalog of memories. ‘Zach,’ I cautiously began, ‘I don’t remember ever sending you to school with a gift for Dirty Santa.’

His smile was full of mischief. ‘I know, ‘ he confirmed. ‘I wrapped up one of my pencils.’

My face must have projected the tsunami of horror crashing over me because he rushed to add the used pencil had a ‘bonus’ eraser on the end. ‘Zaaaaachhhh. Why didn’t you tell me?! Who was your teacher?’ I was torn between calling her immediately or having her mind wiped clean without her knowledge.

‘I just forgot. I think my teacher was Mrs. Duncan.’ Zach shrugged his shoulders then resumed the exploration of the ornament box. I marveled at his blasé acceptance of gifting a classmate with the worst present ever.

‘Do you remember the name of the person who got your pencil?

‘Nah.’ He continued to dig through the box.

‘That poor child,’ I wailed and paced the living room. ‘He got a pencil when everyone else had good gifts!’

‘Oh yeah,’ Zach agreed. ‘I bet that kid was wrecked on the inside.’

If the child felt anything similar to how I was feeling at that moment, it was a dark day indeed. This weekend, I will put my investigative skills to work and find out the name of this poor child so I can give him a proper gift.

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