I Did It Myself
By Audrey W.
Johnny sat on the couch at Roy’s house, waiting for his partner to finish gathering some gear together for a fishing trip. Gage was watching a replay of a classic Super Bowl game, when he felt someone staring at him. Glancing across the room, he saw four-year-old Jennifer DeSoto standing in the doorway from the kitchen, holding a few papers in her right hand.
“Well, hi there,” Gage said, smiling.
The little girl gave a quick wave in return with her free hand.
“Whatcha got there?”
“A book. Wan’ meda read it to ya?”
Johnny glanced at the television screen, then back to Jennifer. He saw the hopeful expression on her face. Was a repeat of a Super Bowl he knew the out come of that important? Not really, he decided. The paramedic shrugged, “Sure! Why not?” He patted a spot on the couch beside him for Jennifer to come over and sit.
How much can a four-year-old read, anyway?
The little girl hurried over and climbed up on the couch. After getting comfortable, she looked up at Johnny. “Ready?”
“Yep, fire away.”
“Okay.” She held up the papers that had pictures drawn by herself, with squiggly lines above and below them.
“Wait. I thought you said it was a ‘book’.”
“It is. I did it by myself.”
“Ah, I see.” He grinned and sat back. “Okay, go ahead.”
Jennifer started telling a story as if she were reading the words off the paper. Johnny listened to her tale, thinking it was cute that she was making up the words as she went, pretending the squiggly lines were real words. When she finished the ‘book’, the little girl looked up at the paramedic and smiled.
“How’dya like it?”
“It was good. That was a neat story.”
Jennifer handed the papers to Johnny. “Now you read it.”
Gage stared at the drawings and squiggly lines on the pages in his hands. Suddenly he couldn’t remember a single word of what Jennifer had said while reading to him.
“Uh. . .”
By luck Roy came into the room, his gear in hand. “You ready?”
Johnny breathed a sigh of relief. Saved by the bell, so to speak. He looked down at Jennifer and smiled apologetically. “I guess I owe you a raincheck on the story, sweetheart. Maybe next time.” He handed the papers back to her and got up from the couch.
As the two men walked from the livingroom, Roy glanced at the relieved expression on his partner’s face.
“Did she try to get you to read her ‘book’ she wrote?”
DeSoto nodded and grinned. “Now, that’s something I would’ve loved to see.”
Johnny scowled. “Ha ha.”
Roy opened the front door. “Let’s hope we have some stories of our own to tell after this trip. Like about the numerous big fish we catch.”
“I hear ya, partner. I hear ya.”
This was inspired by my daughter and the ‘book’ she ‘wrote’ about Eric and Ariel when she was 4 years old. I didn’t know what to do when she handed it to me and told me I could read it back to her. lol