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Plastic Promises

Hi Everyone! As many of us are focused on different schedules during the Holiday Season, I thought perhaps a story post might be a good idea for this week and next. The regular format is scheduled to resume January 5, 2019.


Plastic Promises; A Childhood Story

It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever touched; smooth and cool, with tiny, rippling valleys and peaks. Mesmerized, I would watch as it caught the light from the kitchen window; casting an orange and ruby red reflection into the kitchen sink and across her apron.  At two years old, I wasn’t familiar with magic yet, but if I were, I would have known this was it!

Thinking back, I’m sure the painted color-finish of this small, heavy-base glassware, that I’d fallen in love with, was already well worn by the time I first laid eyes on it.  After all, it had been held by several hands in my mother’s family for almost 40 years. Though to this day, in my mind’s eye, I picture it as it looked through my eyes at the time; the same way my mother described it: Beautiful, special, and very fragile; a treasure to handle with care. I recall longing to hold it on my own; it became my Holy Grail (as much as anything can be a Holy Grail in a toddler’s mind).

If Mom knew how much I wanted to wield it independently, I don’t remember her letting on.  Every time she would pour me a beverage, she made a point of reminding me how proud she was that I was drinking from a ‘big girl’ open-top Tupperware tumbler.  As you may have guessed, no longer was I enchanted with Tupperware plastic, lid or not.  Even the privilege of carrying ‘big kid plastic’, anywhere I pleased, was a moot point after seeing ‘the red cup’.

And so it went, for less than a year, until the day I’d been waiting for arrived: A major breakthrough in my appeal to use the “red cup”!  As I understand it from Mom, the winning plea for my case was presented as she stood at the kitchen sink.  My little face tilted upward, my little voice offering up a new bargaining chip: “My promise is plastic, Mommy.”  Looking down at me, a little puzzled, she asked what I meant.  “My promise is plastic, it’s not like the red cup; it won’t break.”  I would swear I have firsthand recollection of relishing the way my tiny fingers fit “just right” in the tiny valleys, between the tiny peaks

I’m glad to say, I never did break the ultimate treasure I was trusted with.  I should also mention as a side note, even if it had broken through some misfortune, as long as it did not involve me horsing around, my promise would be considered kept.  Mom handled such things with the motto “accidents happen”.

During my adulthood, the red cup came up every now and then during our conversations.  More than once, Mom suggested it would be lovely to submit our memory to Reader’s Digest.*  One of the last promises I made to her was, one day I would try. I’m getting closer, Mom!  And yes, I’ve read through the submission guidelines; publishing any portion here should not disqualify submission. (Mom also taught me to do my best at thinking ahead when it comes to keeping promises.)

Thank you for trusting me Mom; not only to use the “beautiful, special, and very fragile” heirloom juice glass, but also for taking the time and having the patience to teach me, at a very young age, about the difference between breaking promises and keeping them. For while I may have made the connection between drinking-ware and keeping my word, I’m certain the fundamentals used in my two-year-old’s-logic did not appear to me out of thin air; it came from the same source as the majority of my positive principles: My wise and loving mother.

(*Reader’s Digest, established in 1922, is a general-interest family magazine. It was one of my mother’s favorites.)


Wishing everyone the peace, comfort and joy that come with a positive outlook! My sincere good thoughts will be with you this Holiday Season; enjoy!! 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
With kindest regards always,
Holley ~

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