“The Perfect Present,” Friend, Apr. 2001, 20
Jake looked through his bag of marbles. He had bumblebee marbles and cat’s-eyes. None would do. He opened a box and picked a sparkly stone out of his rock collection. He tossed it back. He wanted to find something super special for Nana’s birthday.
Nana, Jake’s grandmother, lived with him and his mom and dad because she needed help. Her legs were not strong, and she used a wheelchair. Jake loved having Nana nearby. She was never too busy to play checkers, and she showed him how to do magic tricks. Best of all, Nana told him stories about all the seashells on her bedroom shelf. Nana had loved walking along the seashore.
Thinking about the different things Nana liked, Jake searched his room again. He found his glow-in-the-dark yo-yo, a baseball cap, and his toy spaceship. But Nana liked seashells and the seashore. What could he do?
Jake put on his jacket and went outside. Maybe he could find some pretty flowers or a four-leaf clover. He looked all over his grassy yard, but he found only three-leaf clovers and lots of dandelions. Finally he plopped down in his sandbox to think some more. He took off his shoes and dug his feet into the sand. It tickled his toes. No wonder Nana had liked walking along the seashore. Suddenly Jake knew the best gift for Nana. He put on his shoes and hurried off to find a box.
Before long, Jake had a big present waiting for Nana on the table.
“Happy Birthday!” Jake yelled as Nana opened the package.
“What is this?” Nana asked, peeking inside. “Is this a box full of sand?”
“No,” giggled Jake. “It’s a box full of seashore!” Dad helped Jake put the box on the floor. Jake took off Nana’s slippers and put her bare feet in the sand.
“Oh my!” Nana smiled. She closed her eyes. “This is wonderful! I feel like I’m walking along the seashore again.”
Jake smiled too. He had done lots of looking and thinking, but at last he had found the perfect present. Now Nana could enjoy the sandy seashore every day, even while she was sitting in her wheelchair.