It’s not that I don’t like gum, you see.

The sun was as bright as the boy’s face while he watched his friend’s mother dig something out of the little box in her purse. She handed him a small something and smiled.

“Mommy, look!”

Mommy turned around and leaned close; her eyes went wide when she saw the familiar pink, hard circle in the center of Boy’s palm.

“Wow, what is that?” she asked with a smirk.

“It’s… um… I dunno.”

“It’s – it’s a pink stone!” Mommy said.

“A what?”

“It’s a special pink rock! What should we do with it?”

Mommy and Boy walked hand in hand to the car as Mommy babbled on and on about what one could do with a pink stone. They stopped at the car door and Mommy looked down.

“You could – you could put it in there!” she cried with delight.

Boy looked down into the sewer. “What’s that?”

“A sewer. A place for things like stones.”

Boy looked back at Mommy. “I want to eat this,” he said slowly.

“Oh, no. We don’t eat that. That’s a stone! We should put it somewhere! Like the sewer.”

As Boy got into the car, the stone still tightly grasped in his hand, tears began to fill his eyes. “No want that,” he said. The teardrops began to stream down while his lip quivered. “No want that.”

And he began to cry and cry.

And cry and cry and whimper and sigh and whimper and cry, as they drove to pick up Girl from her nursery.

Nothing could console him. Not an offer of ices from Girl. Not a hug from Mommy. Not a compliment from Girl’s friends.

And Boy continued to cry as Girl joined them in the car. And he sniffed and he whimpered and he moaned and he pouted.

And then Mommy asked: “Would you like to put your stone into the sewer?”

She looked back at Boy and as she smiled, Boy’s lips turned up to meet his eyes.


So they drove to the sewer, stopped the car, and stood next to the dark hole below.

“Are you ready?” asked Mommy.

“Yes,” Boy said.

<plunk> went the stone.

“What a funny noise!” cried Mommy.

“Plunk!” said Boy.

And together they got back into the car and went home, smiling.





One response to “It’s not that I don’t like gum, you see.”

  1. Judy Labensohn Avatar

    This is delightful, Liz. I love being able to recall my own mothering years through your experiences, not that I was ever that clever or full of patience. . .

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