“Erin’s Postcard Collection,” Friend, Sept. 1995, 20
Little brothers can be such a bother, Erin thought as she knelt to pick up her scattered postcard collection. She knew how much her little brother, Evan, loved to look at all the beautiful postcards. She didn’t mind showing them to him, but she didn’t like it one bit when he went into her room and helped himself.
“What do I need a little brother for, anyway?” she said aloud as she gathered the postcards. If only she could lock him out of her room forever!
Her scowl softened as she caught sight of her most treasured postcard. She picked it up and looked at the picture of the Seattle Temple, remembering the day she got to go inside.
It was only last December, on a cool, sunny day, that she had gone there with her mother and father, Evan, and both sets of grandparents. In the temple nursery, she had helped Evan change into the white suit that one grandma had made for him. Then she put on the outfit the other grandma had sewn for her—a beautiful white eyelet dress that she would wear again six months later at her baptism.
When Erin and Evan were ready, a kindly woman with hair as white as Erin’s dress took them to an elevator and then up to a beautiful sealing room that seemed like heaven to Erin. She was very happy to see her mother and father and grandparents there. She knew that Evan didn’t understand what was happening—he was only three years old—but she was almost eight and knew that they were there to have him sealed to them at last.
Before Evan was born, she had prayed constantly for a brother. On the day he was given to them, she had gone home from the adoption center and thanked Heavenly Father for sending her a baby brother.
As she finished gathering her postcards, she suddenly realized that she didn’t feel angry anymore. Just then her mother called her into the kitchen. “I need you to do me a big favor,” her mother said. “I made these hot muffins, and I thought that it would be nice to take some to Sister Taber. She’s home from the hospital after having knee surgery, and I know that she’d enjoy them. Would you like to take Evan for a walk over to her house?”
“Sure!” Sister Taber had been her favorite Primary teacher. She wished she could go alone, because her little brother always slowed her down, but she knew how much he loved to go for walks.
“Please try to hurry, dear,” Mom said. “Dad will be home soon, and dinner is almost ready. Do you want me to draw a map for you?”
“No thanks,” Erin replied with confidence. “I’m sure I can find it just fine.” She took the basket of warm muffins in one hand and her brother’s hand in the other. As soon as they reached the sidewalk, Evan wanted to stop and look at some leaves, but Erin gently tugged on his arm to urge him forward. “This is going to take forever with him along,” she mumbled to herself.
They reached the first corner and carefully crossed the street. Then Evan saw some bright yellow dandelions growing in the corner of a yard. “Look at the pretty yellow flowers!” he said, heading toward them.
“I’m sorry,” Erin said, “but we don’t have time to stop and pick dandelions. Mom told us to hurry, remember?” She grabbed Evan’s hand again, and kept walking. When they reached the next corner, they turned right. Erin was sure she’d recognize Sister Taber’s house when she saw it.
As they passed the next house, Erin felt Evan stop. He jumped up and down, yelling, “That’s just like ours!”
Erin looked where he was pointing and saw a red, white, and blue basketball backboard identical to the one Dad had put on their own garage. She and Mom loved to watch Evan and Dad play basketball. Evan always made everyone laugh.
But this wasn’t the time to be distracted. “Come on now, Evan,” Erin said impatiently, taking his hand and starting back down the sidewalk.
They crossed the street and headed for the cul-de-sac where Sister Taber lived. They were almost there when Evan began tugging at Erin’s arm and shouting, “Quack, quack, quack, quack!”
She turned around and saw him standing next to a mailbox with a painted duck on it. “Evan Michael, please come with me!” Erin scolded. “We can’t stop and look at everything!” I wish I hadn’t had to bring him along, she thought.
As they entered the cul-de-sac, Erin felt a little unsure about which house belonged to Sister Taber. She looked at each one carefully, then recognized the flower bed in front of one of the houses. This is it, she thought. This is where we had our last Primary achievement activity. She and Evan went up to the door and she let him ring the doorbell.
Sister Taber’s daughter answered the door. She thanked Erin and Evan for the muffins and told her that her mother would really appreciate them.
Erin felt good inside. Then, as she and Evan headed home, she realized that she wasn’t sure how to get there. They stood at the corner leading out of the cul-de-sac while Erin looked left and right, trying to decide which way to go. She began to feel a little panicky until she remembered something her mother had told her many times: “If you ever feel lonely or afraid, tell Heavenly Father your troubles. He always hears your prayers and will help you.”
Erin quickly and quietly asked Heavenly Father to help them find their way home again. Once more she looked up and down the street. Suddenly she spotted the duck mailbox that Evan had stopped to see. Holding her brother’s hand tightly, she left the cul-de-sac. After they crossed the street, she saw the red, white, and blue basketball backboard. We turn left at the next corner, she said to herself.
When they turned the corner, Erin saw the dandelions that Evan had wanted to pick. She realized that rather than feeling angry with him, she was grateful that he had noticed all the things that were helping them find their way back.
When they reached home, she took him inside and told her mother what had happened. Then she bent down, gave her little brother a big hug, and whispered in his ear, “Would you like to come and look at my postcard collection?”