A Childish Lesson

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

A Childish Lesson

Sam was hardly the greatest uncle his family had ever produced.  A single, rather introverted fellow, Sam remained content with the busy schedule that he kept.  While his siblings were up late nursing small children, Sam was out late acting childish with other single adults.  He wasn’t a bad person, he wasn’t even a terrible uncle; it simply wasn’t the first activity that he marked on his calendar.  He had made it a habit to visit his nieces.  He had even attended their dance recital.  However there were plenty of times he could have visited Stephanie and Susan that he had opted out of.

The girls were both quite cute and the eldest was well aware of just how cute she was.  The youngest had yet to learn this lesson; she mostly just did what Stephanie told her too.  They looked enough like sisters that people guessed as much without being told.  They had round faces, blue eyes, and blonde hair.  Stephanie’s hair had lost the springy curls that Susan still had, however that meant that she had less tangles to worry about.  

Sam had spent enough time with the ankle-biters to know that Susan was his favorite.  He refused to give a reason as to why, but he insisted that it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Susan looked just like him when he was born.  That was a complete coincidence.  None of the family really believed that, not even Sam.

Along came the birthday party.  Like any other family, Sam’s brother and his sister-in-law had thrown birthday gatherings before.  This year, Sam’s parents were in town to see their grandchildren so he felt that reuniting the family was probably a good idea.  Stephanie and Susan were considerate enough to have their birthdays within a week or two of each other (give or take three years), so it was really just one more visit added to his schedule. 

Sam was wary of small children having birthday parties.  He was at a point in his life where he was trying to get rid of stuff.  He was trying to stop accumulating and start simplifying.  The notion of a gathering where two youngsters acquire even more toys did not entirely appeal to him.  Without meaning to, Sam showed up at his brother’s house without any gifts.  Only upon entering the front door did he realized the faux pas that he had committed.  His relatives shrugged it off and soon the girls were ready for their gifts.

Stephanie, as always, went first.  She was the oldest and the bossies.  No one really seemed to mind.  Soon, and with much ripping of paper, she beheld a doll just a tiny bit smaller than her.  It was intricately decorated and designed, with clothes carefully crafted and a face that looked lifelike enough to endear itself in to any girl’s heart.  “It’s just what I wanted”, Stephanie replied with a smile.

Sam sat, unmoved physically or emotionally.  He was there to support the family.  He felt no need to get emotionally involved.  It was a nice gift, his seven year-old relative was pleased; everything was fine. 

Next it was Susan’s turn.  She was handed a similar sized box and her eyes went wide.  She approached cautiously.  She looked at the box that her mom was offering her.  She looked at her mom.  She looked at her grandmother.  Then she looked back at her mom with a declaration of surprise and awe in her eyes.  “For me?”  The words came out of her tiny mouth with excitement and disbelief.  She struggled with the box that was the same size as her.  She tried hugging it, which proved to yield no results.  Stephanie tried to help.  She held the box to the ground while Susan pulled at the paper and lifted the lid with a mighty heaving action.  Soon, a similar doll to Stephanie’s lay in the box in front of her.  “Thanks!”

Sam found himself taken aback.  This was a moment he had not expected to have with the four year-old.  She was not a child who assumed that things would be given to her.  She hadn’t expected anything.  Susan probably would have been happy to see Stephanie get a gift so long as she got to play with it once in a while.  The entire moment could have been described in one word; joy.  She was thrilled because someone had thought to give her something and she was ecstatic that it was something she had wanted.  There was no attitude of being owed anything.  She couldn’t have been upset that she didn’t get what she wanted because she had never expected to get anything.

Sam found his manly exterior cracking.  He was relieved that everyone was thoroughly enamored with the two girls playing and accessorizing their new dolls.  Their distraction gave him a minute to swallow the lump in his throat and contain himself.  Yep, Sam thought to himself, definitely my favorite niece.  He then sat up and considered scratching his chest or burping.  After all, he had his reputation to think of.

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About anecdotaltales
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

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