Gulliver wanted nothing more then to have an 8th birthday party. However, Gulliver was worried about it. Gulliver worried about a lot of things and sometimes he missed out as a result. His parents tried to help him. He knew they were concerned he was missing things so sometimes Gulliver worried about his parents too. Anyway, in this moment he worried about his invitations.
Gulliver looked at his invitations. There were 10 of them filled out in his mother’s round bubble printing. “Okay Gulliver,” his mother said, “pick 10 friends.” Gulliver felt his eyes go big and his breath caught. Pick 10 friends? His mom smiled and waited patiently.
Pick 10 friends? What 10 friends should I pick? What if I don’t pick the right friends? What if none of the friends I invited show up? What if I forget to invite someone? What if… “Gulliver?” His mother’s voice broke into his thoughts. Gulliver worked hard to focus on his mother’s words. “Gulliver, what about inviting Sam? Do you want to invite Sam?”
Sam, of course. Gulliver sighed and nodded. He watched his mother write “To Sam” and seal the first envelop. After 15 minutes of help from his mother the list was complete. Gulliver was relieved to have picked 10 friends and he was excited about his party.
It was a king week for Gulliver as he waited for confirmation from his friends. He asked his mother every night which friends has said yes they were able to attend. By Friday
night he had heard back from all his friends. The big day was Saturday and Gulliver’s energy shifted to thoughts of the party. What if nobody showed up? What if nobody had fun? How could he play with everyone? What if his gift bags weren’t cool? What if he fell and hurt himself and cried? What if… Gulliver’s mind drifted off to sleep.
* * *
Gulliver stood still surveying the giant play structure. His hands were clasped behind his back and he was rocking back and forth from his heals to his toes. So many options: slides, tunnels, ladders, climbing walls, ropes, obstacles and things that he didn’t know the name of. He could hear voices somewhere behind him and knew his friends were arriving but he wasn’t ready to face them. Before he had a chance to begin thinking Sam ran up and tapped Gulliver on the head yelling, “You’re it” as 9 other friends raced by.
A big smile cracked across Gulliver’s face. He turned and saw his mom. She smiled at him. “Thank you,” Gulliver mouthed silently before he turned and ran after his friends.
By Shari Marshall – 2019