I have a dilemma. You see my school has been doing a fundraiser for sometime. They sell these smelly pencils for a dollar. The kids go ape for them. No big deal right?
Here’s my problem. I’m all for fundraising and a dollar isn’t a lot of money… but some kids just don’t have it. I understand, this is life… especially in the community I work in… much like our country, the difference between the haves and the have nots can be extreme. This can be hard for a five-year-old to understand.
This morning, when Henry walked in, he looked like his world was crumbling. Henry has a lot going on at home and I’m sure, like many others, bringing a dollar for a smelly pencil was the last thing on his mother’s mind. Unfortunately for him, many of this friends were buying them and he really wanted one.
“What’s wrong Henry,” I asked kneeling down to be closer to his face.
“Well I thought I had a dollar on the bus, but I don’t,” he mumbled.
At this point, his face became red and blotchy and I could tell he was holding back tears.
“You know what, I don’t have a dollar to give you, but I have something else,” I said.
“What?” He wondered, still on the verge of crying.
“I can give you a hug,” I offered.
We actually hugged for awhile. I squeezed him back. I could tell he needed it.
When he pulled away, I told him, “You know what, that’s better than a pencil because it’s free and you can have one whenever you want.”
“And you know something else, you have something better than a pencil,” I continued.
“You have a wonderful smile, and that’s worth more than you know.”
I hope I comforted him. I tried to show him that a little love is worth more than a pencil.
I’m still not sure how I feel about the pencils being sold at school, but I hope the next time they’re out there, Henry won’t mind if he gets a hug instead.