A Present for My Mom
Just before school got out for Christmas vacation, my best friend's family came over for a surprise visit. Andrea and I exchanged presents: I gave her cookies that my mom baked, and she gave me a little book called A Mouse in My House. It was a good visit until Andrea's mom brought in a big black garbage bag filled with clothes her other two kids had outgrown and toys she'd collected from friends. For the first time, I knew what it felt like to be pitied, and it hurt to have it come from a friend.
Andrea's family went to California for Christmas break, so Terri and I spent the vacation with Mary and Della. Their mom, Sara, was our mom's best friend. Mary, colored on the faces of my dolls and poured milk on my record player. Della stole Terri's toys. Still, we remained some sort of friends. Sara's church "adopted" our family for Christmas. I didn't know it at the time, but my school nurse belonged to the same church.