The word "present" jogged a memory, and somewhere in my head I heard an exasperated kindergarten teacher say to one of her more energetic curious students, "Ramona, please sit here for the present." Ramona followed the teacher's directions and began to dream of all the possible presents she would receive that day for sitting there. When it was time for recess the teacher asked, "Ramona, please stand up and get in line," but the resolute kindergarten child replied, "No, I want to sit here for the present." When the school day ended the teacher counted, "One, Two, Three. Everyone in their seat." Ramona smiled because she was already there. As directions were given for lining up Ramona wiggled with glee. When at last the day was over and she was in line, tears began to drip down her face. When the teacher walked by she smiled, "Ramona, you have been really good today, but why do I see tears in your eyes?"
Ramona, looked at the teacher, "I've been waiting all day for my present."
The confused teacher asked, "What present?"
"You said, if I sat here you would give me a present."
Like Ramona, I sometimes live my days dreaming (worrying) of tomorrow and not living today. So for today, I will live in the present and smile.
Beverly Cleary wrote Ramona's story so much clearer than my retelling, so much better, in fact, that Ramona's story has stayed with me over thirty years.