Birthday Story For An Eleven-Year-Old

Grandma Baadsgaard

Happy 11th birthday Emily!
I hope you never forget how much I love you.
Having you for my granddaughter makes my world a golden place to be.

               When Emily got her new metal rimmed glasses, the fuzzy world around her suddenly came into focus. She could read what the teacher wrote on the blackboard instead of guessing or asking her neighbor. The leaves on trees changed from a green blurry glob to individual leaves rustling in the breeze. It was a whole new word and Emily liked it.
            Pretty soon the newness wore off and Emily forgot what the world looked like before she got glasses. In fact, one day Emily was pretty annoyed with her spectacles. First, she accidentally sat on them while she was getting dressed and bent them so they wouldn’t sit straight on her nose. When she left for school, it was raining so her glasses got all fogged up and covered in spots. Then later, one of the kids at school said some saucy thing to make fun of her.
            “I don’t like my glasses anymore,” Emily said the next morning as she was eating breakfast.
            “What?” her mother asked. “I thought you loved them.”
            “Not now,” Emily said.
            Later that morning, Emily’s mother noticed something peculiar.
            “Emily,” her mother said as Emily walked through the front door to catch the bus, “the rims on your glasses look a little dark.”
            Emily shrugged her shoulders and rolled her eyes. When she got to school, Emily noticed several of her friends talking and laughing in the hallway.
            They’re probably saying bad things about me, Emily thought.
            After the spelling test later that morning Emily looked at her score.
            AHHHHH I missed one! Emily thought. Why do I always have to miss one?
            At lunch Emily sat by herself.
            Nobody wants to sit by me, Emily thought. What is wrong with me?
            When Emily climbed on the bus, she noticed the bus driver looked grumpy.
            My bus driver is mean, Emily thought.

            While she walked home from the bus stop, she noticed birds on the power line.
            Oh no, they’ll probably poop on me, Emily thought.
            When she got home from school, Emily saw her sisters playing in the front yard.
            They make too much noise, Emily thought. I just want to be by myself.
            At supper Emily’s father looked at her in perplexed surprise.
            “Emily, why do you look so glum?” her father asked. “And the rim on your glasses, why do they look black?”
            Emily took them off and looked at them. Sure enough the metallic rims were black.
            “I don’t know,” Emily answered.
            “Maybe the rims on your glasses are like those special lenses that change color according to how much light they are exposed to,” Emily’s mother answered.
            “I don’t think so,” Emily answered. “It’s not bright in here.”
            When Emily went to bed that night she looked at her black rimmed glasses and sighed.
            “I guess it has just been one of those days.” She sighed.
            The next morning Emily woke up, reached over to grab her glasses on the nightstand and walked into the bathroom.
            “I don’t like feeling glum,” Emily said to her droopy reflection in the mirror. “I’m going to make this a better day.”
            That day when Emily got to school she noticed her friends talking in the hallway.
            I bet they’re saying good things about me, Emily thought.
            Then she walked over to her friends with a big smile on her face. Her friends smiled back. Then she noticed how nice her friend’s hair looked.
            “Wow, your hair looks awesome,” Emily said.
            “Why, thank you,” said her friend. “I had it hair-cut last night. I didn’t think anyone would notice.”
            After she took her reading test, Emily looked at her score. She missed one.
            Wow, I got 99 problems correct, she thought. Good work Emily.
            When it was time for lunch, Emily noticed the new girl sitting by herself. She walked over to her and sat down.
            “Can I sit by you?” Emily said to the new girl.
            “Sure!” the new girl answered. “I was hoping someone would do that.”
            On the bus ride home, Emily noticed how tired the bus driver looked.
            I bet it is hard to be a bus driver, Emily thought.
            “Thank you for the ride! Have a nice day!” Emily said cheerfully to the bus driver while she was getting off the bus.
            “Why thank you,” the bus driver said. “Nobody ever thanks me.”
            While Emily was walking home from the bus stop, she noticed birds sitting on the power line. She stopped and listened.
            I love to hear birds sing, Emily thought.
            When Emily got home from school that day, she saw her noisy sisters playing in the yard.
            I’m so lucky to have sisters to play with, Emily thought.
            While her mother was fixing supper, Emily noticed that she was trying to balance her baby brother on her hip and stir at the same time.
            “Can I take Daniel?” Emily asked reaching out for her brother.
            “Thank you Emily,” her mother answered. “That would really help me.”
             While they were sitting around the table at dinner, Emily’s father looked at Emily and noticed how happy she looked.
            “Emily, the rims on your glasses are gold today,” her father said. “And you’re smiling. What happened?”
            Emily grinned from ear to ear.
            “Maybe your rims are like those lenses that adjust according to the light,” Emily’s mother said again.
            “You’re right Mom,” Emily answered, “except with these rims, the light comes from inside me.

                                                     We decide how to see.
                                                Our thoughts create a world
                                                                       that is a dark
                                                              or a golden place to be.
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