special specters

July 16, 2006

I was given an unusual gift this week. While I was on my way home in the afternoon my neighbor called to warn me about a possibly easy-to-miss item in my mailbox. She explained that her 3-year-old had been hard at work on a project that she absolutely forbid her mother to see. All her mother was allowed to know was that it was for me. She then carefully wrapped it in tissue paper and delivered it to my mailbox–insisting on riding her bike for the great 20 yard trek between their house and mine. During the phone conversation, my neighbor explained that she was a bit concerned that the package may have been carried off by the postman, as it probably would have had to be closely looked for in the mail box. I echoed her concern, intrigued by the prospect of such a surprise and hoping to actually get it. Thankfully the package survived the mail delivery that day. Its packaging did not, I’m afraid–I assumed the torn bits of kleenex to be the “tissue” wrapping of the original gift.
So what was the present? Why, a list of spelling words of course–need you ask?! It was a small piece of notebook paper with lists of repeated words: “mother,” “sister,” “friend,” and “love,” among others. After a moment it occurred to me that my little neighbor would not actually have been the original scribe of the words–I have worked with her on writing projects enough to be pretty certain of that. A moment later, however, I happily discovered her personal contribution: the result of her reported laboring efforts–on the back of the paper was a small drawing that I instantly recognized as her artwork. Every time she is offered some sort of writing utensil and something to write on, the result is a figure that distinctly resembles a ghost. The dimensions may vary slightly, but the effect is always the same. It does make me curious to see what her artistic inclinations develop into as the years pass.
For now, though, I am quite content to prominently display my new ghost on the fridge :-)

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