Yesterday was a quiet day. I spent much of the day working, and J spent much of the day on the couch reading and messaging friends on her iPad. Her brothers were off doing their own thing; one was planning an overhaul of our shed while the other one had gone to the beach with a friend.

Several times, I tried to entice her to come out on the deck with me and read, but the fact that I was working was not terribly enticing. Instead, she took up some creative pursuits: a chalk mural in our parking area, sketching, origami.

Later, after the head of the day had cooled, I came downstairs from a refreshing shower. She was cleaning up small strips of paper from the floor in the living room. They were squished and rustling in her left hand. She held out her right hand as if to give me something.

“I don’t want your trash,” I told her, as I walked by. “Throw it out.”

“It’s not trash,” she said. “I have something for you.” Whatever “gift” she had was paper in her hand, white and rustling just like the trash.

“Throw it out,” I reiterated. “I know it’s trash.”

“No, Mom, it’s not trash. Just hold out your hand.” I sighed, weary and worn down. I held out my hand, fully expecting it to be filled with her paper scraps.

Two tiny folded paper stars fell into my hand. “Oh!” I exclaimed, drawing in my breath. I was surprised by their simple beauty, their tiny-ness, their perfect star-ness. “They’re beautiful! I love them!”

“They’re wishing stars.” She smiled. “The first ones didn’t come out at all, but I figured it out.”

Beautiful! And what could be better to fall into your open hand than two paper wishes?



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