Friday, February 15, 2008

Pencils Down!

A couple years ago, a friend’s parents were on a mission in Samoa. Before Christmas, they wrote and asked their family to gather supplies to send to help the Samoan people. I can’t remember what most of the items were, but I remember that one item was pencils. They explained that very few people had pencils in the area of Samoa in which they were living.

This actually surprised me because in my house, pencils are so abundant, I wonder if they are not secretly hooking up and starting families of their own in different corners of the house. I’m pretty sure there is a family of pencils living under my couch and vacationing in the couch cushions.

It seems that pencils are a common gift around the holidays. Just yesterday it was Valentine’s Day and each of the kids brought home at least one Valentine-themed pencil.

Free pencils are particularly annoying because no matter how many pencils we have in the house, my kids can not pass up a free one. The library recently opened a new branch about a ½ mile from our house and for the first few months they had free pencils. Every time we went, each of my kids had to get their own free pencil. The pencil then went into the library bag, where it stayed.

The kids did not care about the pencil, but because it was free, they wanted it. I guess grown ups can be that way about pencils too, and lots of other things.

A few library visits later, the gravitational force of the free pencils sucked my kids in. “We don’t need any more pencils,” I said, thinking of the 10 I’d picked up off the floor in the last 2 hours alone.

“Yes we do!” They pleaded.

Luckily, the free pencils from our last visit were still in the bag. I reached in and grabbed the pencils. “Look!” I said, “we already have free pencils.” I shook my pencil-filled fist at my kids like the piece of damning evidence it was.

They shuffled out of the library, heads down, clearly depressed at the fact that they wouldn’t be adding to the household pencil population.

Every once in a while, I throw pencils away because I get so tired of picking them up. Of course I don’t throw them away with out thinking of the Samoans who don’t have pencils. If I had the right contact person, I might actually package up my pencils and send them to needy Samoans instead of throwing them away.

What? I might.


claire said...

Seriously! Everybody puts those holidy-themed pencils in goody bags for kids' parties because they are cheap but guess what? I don't have an electric pencil sharpener and I wouldn't go to the trouble of sharpening them by hand so every stinkin' pencil we have is still flat.
I make a deliberate effort not to give out pencils for my kids' parties.

J said...

so sorry if you hate these types of things, but you've been


go to my blog and check it out! can't wait to read about your fabulous trip...Jillyn