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The Gift of Childhood -- Writer's Poke #136

For Writers:

When I was five years old, I had rather simple pleasures. For Christmas that year, I would have been happy getting Lego's, tinker-toys, or stuffed animals. Heck, I would have been happy getting a fuzzy pillow. I loved fuzzy pillows.

My grandparents' gift to me, however, taught me that the simple pleasures of a five year old boy weren't proper. It was time, they said, that I grew up. After all, I was five, and I had had my opportunity to have a childhood.

The gift they gave me was a "grown up" gift. It was a lamp with a little porcelain figure of a boy standing as part of the base. I think I tried to hide my disappointment when I saw what they had given to me, for that was the kind of polite boy I was.

This was 1978, so my grandparents would have been 71 and 69; they both came from modest backgrounds, lived through the Great Depression, and believed that childhood was somehow just an unnecessary luxury. Their gift to me was practicality; being a child just wasn't practical.

What is the worst present you've ever received? How did you respond to the giver?

"There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child." -- Erma Bombeck

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