But how many presents do I remember? And how far back? Over the weekend I was trying to remember my favorite Christmas presents from childhood. I remember the horse I didn’t get. I know I got a pink buggy and a doctor set. But only because I’ve seen the pictures. What gifts do I remember unwrapping and loving?
There are two. One was a stuffed cat. It was yellow with a white chest and it was sitting. It came in a square, white box that Mom made into my Valentine’s box to take to school with me in February. I don’t know why, but I just loved that little cat. The second was a book about King Arthur and his knights. It was from Virginia Hoover, who gave my brothers and I a book every year. I wasn’t impressed at the time we opened it, but what a story.
And that’s about it. I know of lots of other gifts–remember playing with them, but I don’t remember getting them. Dozens and dozens of presents my parents picked out just for me. And what do I remember? A cat and a book.
Which made me think about how we never know what will take root. When my book is published (I hope!), who knows what will stick? What will resonate with people? I put all kinds of good stuff in there, but that’s not necessarily what anyone will take away. The fabulous pink, baby buggy may not be what a reader needs. It may be the little, yellow cat that I forgot I put in there.