Where I write

Where I write

December 10, 2013

Each Christmas I select a card from an angel tree and buy a gift for the child whose name is listed on the card. This year I wanted to chose a girl and buy something frilly, cute and fun. However, it seemed as if other people had the same idea. There were only boy's names dangling from the tree. I have a manager at work named Diego who has been kind to me, so when I saw the name Diego I decided, though it wasn't a girl, why not.

Here is Diego's letter which was given to me after I selected his name. He has two sisters and a baby brother.  He is in the fifth grade in Mrs. Crone's class (if there was ever a more scary teacher name I've not heard it.) At first I thought, oh well, a typical child, but then I was reminded there is no typical before the word child. In fact, Diego is a renaissance man.

This 11 year old likes to write poems, play soccer, go mountain hiking and wants to be either an actor or a soccer player. He is an artist and an athlete. He even has a nickname. Oman. Pretty cool. But what really got my attention, besides the fact this little guy likes to write poetry (wish I could have seen a poem he's written) was what he wanted for Christmas.

He listed three things he wanted. The first two involved soccer. So I got him the soccer ball. The last thing he listed was a Frank Sinatra Disc/Greatest Hits. I had to read that one twice. Just when I think I can't be surprised anymore. I was surprised.

Then, beside the half finished sentence I would also like to tell you Diego wrote in very neat handwriting, "I like to hear old music. Example: Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, The Doors, Pink Floyd." A fifth grader wanted to hear old blue eyes. Huh.
I couldn't deny him Frankie. So I tucked this CD in with his soccer ball. Diego's letter reminded me not to typify anyone. I need to remember that as a writer, when I create characters that lack depth and honesty, when they are flat and drawn without thought of how complex us humans can be. All of us are so varied, proof is an 11 year old here in Phoenix living in a low income area who likes to listen to Frank and Dean, who dreams of playing a sport and writing poetry.

What I'd really like to do is send Diego back in time and let him meet the members of the rat pack. Of course, I would go along and have a cocktail or two and we'd have a fine time.

From there we could go on to visit Jim Morrison and John Lennon and sit awhile as Pink Floyd played their dreamy music.  Except maybe his parents would be too keen on their little boy Diego cavorting with all those, shall we say, creative types who liked to drink and smoke and toke. Best Diego just listens to the music and someday maybe in between playing soccer he might turn some of his poems into song lyrics of his own.

We all have so many gifts to share and we are all presents wrapped in different colored paper and shining bows. Diego reminded me of that.


Rita A. said...

What a wonderful post. Wouldn't it be wonderful to take this boy to the Musical Instrument Museum? WOW. He's a lucky boy to have been chosen by you.

Stella said...

This is infinitely touching: that you participate in this generosity every holiday and that you got this sweet young Renaissance man to support. I think you should write him a poem from his angel to go along with Frank's CD. I was surprised when I discovered my 28 year old daughter and her husband like the Rat Pack, but that an eleven year old does too is pretty cool!

SunsetCindi said...

Wow, talk about being surprised. It gives you hope that there are 11 year-olds out there like Diego. Good for you for filling his needs and for opening your eyes to new possibilities. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Every year I'm surprised at the music that appeals to young people. They love the classics, especially the Beatles. :-)

How nice of you to contribute to the Angel tree. It's such a wonderful program and you really make a kid smile!