"On my fifth Christmas, it was calm," I read aloud. "We talked about Jesus
christ and how he effected our Lives. We got no presents that year. I did
not care about presents. I care about my family. Oh, how I Loved that
christmas. it was so peaceful. Dear god. Thank you for are food and famLy,
thank you for everything. in Jesus name amen."
I glanced over at Aidan, who was smiling sweetly, clearly proud of his effort. I thought for a moment about what to say.
Finally I said, "So, Aidan. I don't remember this Christmas."
"That's because I made it up!" he exclaimed, breaking into a huge grin. "I couldn't remember any Christmas memories, so I just made one up!"
I congratulated him on his wonderful story and told him I thought it was beautiful. Then I called Darren from right there in the hallway, trying not to laugh out loud.
"Hey, listen to this story Aidan wrote and see if it rings a bell to you. It's his favorite Christmas memory, but I'm having a hard time remembering it myself. "
We had a good laugh, talked about how sweet the whole thing was, and then wondered if getting no presents THIS year would go over well.
Then I searched out Mrs. Bradshaw; I wanted to make sure she knew the story wasn't entirely accurate before she nominated us for KLTY's Christmas Wish or something. I can hear it now... Frank Reed sniveling and weeping, "Today's Christmas Wish comes from a second grade teacher, Mrs. Bradshaw, in Fort Worth. 'Dear Christmas Wish, I'm nominating the beautiful Kocur family because their poor children don't get gifts (sniffle snarvel chokechokechoke) on Christmas Day, but they're so precious they don't care. They went all semester without a haircut and looked like ragamuffins until someone finally took them to SuperCuts over Thanksgiving. (hey, gimme a break. I had a broken foot.) Sometimes they don't wear socks. (That's Aidan's preference, thank you very much.) They have to eat peanut butter every single day for lunch. (I try to make them branch out, but hey - they're peanut butter connoisseurs.) I want them to know the joy of opening a gift, for once in their sweet (snarf, stammer, sniff) lives."
"I found Aidan's story," I said when we found the teacher, "but he neglected to tell you that it wasn't a real memory."
"What!" she gasped, turning her attention to Aidan. "You MADE THAT UP?!"
I thought he was about to get reamed.
"I can't believe you made that up. Aidan! Have you ever thought about being a writer?"
He looked at the floor and barely shook his head.
"If you can write something that good sitting in class without even thinking about it, you should definitely think about being a writer when you grow up."
Then she looked at me and said, "It was such a sweet story."
I think she was disappointed that it wasn't true.