Envy Pencils

The Gort returned to school last week after a seventeen day hiatus. When I picked him up in the afternoon, I posed my usual motley of questions. ‘How was your day?’ ‘Who did you sit with at lunch?’ Etcetera.

‘I got a new pencil,’ he announced, while holding a brand new, brightly colored pencil in the air. So I could see what he was talking about. The pencil was emblazoned with six swirly letters: H-A-W-A-I-I.

‘Ah, did one of your classmates go to Hawaii and bring back pencils for everyone?’ I surmised. A thin layer of envy settling upon me.

‘Yep’, he confirmed, in a matter of fact voice; oblivious to the fact that hanging out in Calgary and moving during Christmas break, might not be quite as fun as, say, sitting on a beach in Maui.

It wasn’t the first time I’d encountered ‘the pencil’. In Kindergarten, the Gort came home one day with a white pencil decorated with colorful flags. There were four letters o’ fun on the side: F-I-J-I. ‘You have a classmate who went to Fiji?!’ I gasped. The Fiji? The one that’s in the middle of some far away ocean, which I will likely never see? (And certainly not with my kids!)

I thought about the Hawaii pencil. ‘Maybe you could get some Calgary pencils and hand them out to your classmates,’ I joked, chuckling while imagining the Gort placing a home-grown pencil on each of his friends’ desks.

I considered this ridiculous scenario for a while, but decided it wasn’t nearly lame enough. Really, he should hand out those ubiquitous yellow-orange pencils, with the word ‘S-T-A-Y-C-A-T-I-O-N’ written in wobbly letters.

Who’s jealous now?

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