He knew it wouldn’t happen because he was after all eight years old and knew that Santa can’t make things happen, just bring toys, which was good and all, but still it couldn’t hurt to wish.
Jacob had told him that when you put a coin in the Kettle down at the corner by the supermarket, that it brings a wish home for some child. Well, then, it might work if he put the coin in – he had seven actually saved for this purpose. So what if the wish was for him and he was giving the coins. It shouldn’t matter.
Getting there was easy-after school go straight instead of right at the corner to go home. That would take him to the supermarket and then he just would have to go back to the corner and take a left, and he knew what was left because his index finger and thumb made an “L” for left on his left hand.
It was warm for December and his mittens were cooking his seven pennies making his hand all sweaty. He didn’t dare take it off though for fear of losing his coins. No, just keep on walking and all would be well.
There it is. Just like Jacob said, right there with the lady in the suit and hat ringing the bell. Mark took off his hot left mitten and carefully placed the seven coins in the kettle. He squeezed his eyes so tight it made wrinkles and wished so hard the lady couldn’t help but notice.
“Pretty important wish, young man, right?”
“Oh, yes, Ma’am, most important wish in the whole wide world. Thank you, thank you, I have to get home.”
Mark skipped, then ran to the corner and took the appropriate left and soon was at his doorstep, face flushed from the hurried trip home.
Mom, said, “Hi, Mark – cookies and juice on the counter. I’m making some food up for Grampa and we’ll take it to him in just a little bit.”
“Ok,” Mark said absent-mindedly. He had to get up to his room and see if anything had changed. No, no it was still there. Well, it was too soon for sure. Maybe by the time they came back from Grampa’s house… Christmas was in two days so if this was gonna work, it had to be tonight or tomorrow.
Christmas Eve supper was special as it always was and the little deep fried flower shaped donuts with the powdered sugar were Mark’s favorites, but not the smelly little fish, they even called them smeltz, Mark thought. And the cod fish cakes were ok, but best of all were the little donuts and the noodles with olive oil. Yummy Christmas Eve was wonderful and the eggnog and candy canes. “Now if only the wish works,” Mark prayed.
They went to church after supper and Mark prayed extra hard while they were there too.
“Mark, wash your hands and go up to your room to change into your jammies,” Mom said, her face a little flushed and her eyes as bright as he could remember.
Mark noticed a small sliver of light coming from beneath his door. He must have forgotten to turn off the light. Uh, oh, trouble.
Mark opened the door and a man in a camouflage uniform scooped him up and squeezed him tight.
“Daddy, Daddy, I made a card for you and I wished you home and I even put seven coins in the kettle and prayed at church, oh, Daddy, are you really here?!”
The hand-made Christmas card on the rocker was gone. It had said, “No one touch this card cept my Dad.”
How his wish came true, Mark never knew, but while he was at church with his Mom and Grampa, Daddy came home and Mark would forever put as many coins in the kettle as he possibly could.
Wishes do come true.