THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2018
LESSONS IN LOVE Continued from Page 16 gave me the creeps. My best guess is that the creeps came from the guilt I felt when I remembered Grandma’s expression when I didn’t open her present right away. Finally, when my curiosity almost killed me, I opened the box to reveal something I couldn’t believe. Inside was the most beautiful bracelet I had ever seen. The gorgeous bracelet shone like a million stars. I carefully placed the bracelet in my hand for a better view of its texture. It looked and felt so delicate that when I touched it, I thought I heard it shatter. I rotated the bracelet to inspect the shiny diamonds. As the morning sunshine peeked through my curtains, the bracelet glistened like the sea under the sun. The bracelet was golden like the sun with tiny diamond beads embedded around it. I eagerly ran to my grandma to thank her for the gift. “I knew you would like it,” she smiled. “Your dear old Grandpa gave it
to me. I treasure this bracelet. I never let anyone see it, let alone touch it! You are special, Joyce, and don’t ever forget that.” I let those words echo in my head for a hundred times as I embraced my grandma warmly. “Thank you grandma, I never knew I was special to anyone,” I whispered. “Did you see the words carved in the inside?” She asked. Words? Inside? “No, I don’t think so… I guess I was too busy looking at the outside to even bother with the inside,” I admitted. Finally, I looked inside and squinted to see the words carved on the bracelet. “You are forever mine,” I read. I grinned to my grandma, “I love you!” This was one of my first lessons in love, and it showed me what they mean when they say, “Good things come in small packages!” CASSIE MCDADE It was a first-grade soccer game and the parents were screaming at the top of their lungs, “H” “O” “P” “E”, Hope,
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Hope, Hope." The sound of the cow bells, rung by the opponent’s parents, echoed through the wide-open fields of Fort Tilden. I wanted to take those cowbells and give them right back to the cows. This team looked like giants compared to us. Uh, uh, no way, I was going out there on the field. So, my mom and I sat on the rusty, old bleachers like two forlorn puppies. The thought of stepping onto the field made my skin crawl. All I wanted to do was disappear, like a turtle going back into its shell. My mom would have no part of that. “We are staying for the whole game,” she warned me, “Being a part of a team doesn’t only mean playing. It means supporting too.” Time seemed to stand still. The wind howled. The cow bells clanged. The players chased one another up and down the field like alley cats fighting in the night. It was hard to believe halftime would ever come, but it did. Finally, my coach came over and spelled it out. “Cassie, we don’t have enough players. We could really use you to play goalie.” Hmm. That didn’t seem like such a bad idea. My mom could stand right next to the goal post like a goalie guard, I thought. So off I went into the goalie position. With my mom right by my side, they could have scored a million goals. It didn’t really matter to me. Having my mom there was what got me through the second half. Game over. I figured out how my mom could be by my side on the soccer field. Goalie would be my position. I decided to share this brilliant idea with my mom. This was going to be great…no more competing on the field. How smart was I? But what I didn’t take into account was how much wiser my mom was. “I’m going to tell coach, I want to be goalie,” I said with great confidence. “Goalie is a tough position, Cassie. You are too good of a defensive player. You have speed,” Mom advised. “Nope,” I replied putting it all on the line, “If I play goal-
The Rockaway Times ie you can stand by the net at each and every game.” My wise mom replied with firmness, “You are not playing goalie.” Well, this wasn’t going the way I expected. How could my mom love me so much and force me to go out onto a soccer field while butterflies fluttered in my stomach? So, we continued to go to soccer games and my mom’s patience and encouragement helped me get out onto that field time after time. Today I wouldn’t be the soccer player I am, if my mom let me succumb to my fears. If I had stuck with my “brilliant plan” of playing goalie, I wouldn’t be the skilled field player I am right now. My mom’s overwhelming love always helps me conquer my fears even when they get the best of me. This was one of my first lessons in love. QUINN BRESLIN “Meow,” cried Morty, my cat. “Sorry Morty,” I said. “I have to feed myself first, I’ll be back in a sec.” But the thing was, I never went back to feed him. Instead it was my mother who fed him that morning. Let me tell you about Morty, my cat. Morty is like an Oreo. It is like he has black and white painted all over. In my eyes, he’s rated a level higher than the sweetest thing on earth. I’m not even sure what level that is. Anyway, while I was watching the 90th Grammy Awards in my living room, I was feeling a little down. I think Morty sensed it and came right to me, and comforted me in such a loving way. When I petted Morty, he snuggled up next to me and made me feel like the most special boy on earth. That was the moment I realized, not only can a dog be “man’s best friend”—a cat can, too. And, although I forgot to feed him, he still showed me love. So tomorrow I will remember to feed him, and the next day, and the day after that. I will feed him until the day that he can’t eat anymore. And for all those days, I will feed him with love and I will be my cat’s best friend.