“You must have hated The Polar Express when you were a kid,” my friend Stacy said to me.
The two of us were sitting in our class, Writing for Children, talking about picture books. As the semester came to a close, we were finishing our unit on illustrated stories, and meandered to The Polar Express. Being a Caldecott-winning story adapted into a movie, it was an ideal book for class discussion. Most of my classmates heard it at least once, and had their own stories about hearing it for the first time. Mine was not particularly memorable, seeing as I was nine and the elementary school librarian read it to my class.
At least…I did not think it was memorable until Stacy pointed out a central theme to the story.
Continue reading “Hearing, Listening, and The Polar Express”
It was 6 A.M. on Christmas morning. My brother, Doug, and I had woken up much earlier, but our parents said, “Don’t wake us up before six.” Each minute seemed to drag before, finally, we could spring into our parents’ bed shouting, “WAKE UP! IT’S CHRISTMAS!”
Both of them rolled under the covers, in hopes of grabbing a few more seconds of sleep. My dad cried, “Spirit! Haunt me no more!”, before letting my brother and me climb into bed. It was very easy to fit two parents, a four-year-old boy, a six-year-old girl, and a two-year-old cat under the same sheets. We were all warm, snug, and full of Christmas cheer. Inevitably, my Dad would always ask the same question, and it would always break my heart.
“Did you hear Santa last night?” My dad asked.
“Sure did!” Doug replied.
“Oh…yeah…me too…” I stammered, faking a smile.
Continue reading “The Day I Heard Santa Claus”