Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Present

Between 4 am and 6 am this morning I worried and fretted about our future.  Perhaps the longest chapter of lives is coming to a close when Jack retires this year, and what does that mean for us, for our future, for our family, for our friends?  With "touch magic"  I'd like to peak through a little key hold, just to see what we'll be doing, where we will be living, and then I think, "No, just live now, live in the present."

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.


  1. Will always love Ramona. Love your thinking on this! I often think about the same things.

  2. I loved Ramona! Miss Letty, you created so many wonderful memories for me as a student at Jefferson Elementary - (reading in the big bubble!) Thank you for all you did and I'm so glad we have re-connected after all these years! HSB

  3. thanks for sharing! I always enjoyed your love for literature and art! ASH

  4. I was good! I remember my mom reading me that Ramona story. KRM