Saturday, July 17, 2010


A couple days ago I mentioned Tommy's Party Pie.  I came across this story which I wrote in 1994, and thought you might enjoy reading it.  

Love came to our house over the weekend.  Its quiet knock was answered by our tender-hearted three-year-old, who quickly invited love in.

Through a video from the library, Tommy was introduced to Gerbert, a cute little puppet with "cheeks like a football," as Tommy fondly described him.  He promptly fell in love.  He'd kiss at the TV screen and say, "Gerbert, I love you."  While I was caring for Samuel on Saturday evening, Tommy was drawing pictures to give to Gerbert.  I was instructed to write on each picture, "I love you Gerbert.  From Tommy to Gerbert."

On Sunday afternoon he wrote Gerbert a letter.  "Dear Gerbert, I want you to come and live with us."  We told him Gerbert couldn't come, he has his own home in Texas. Then we should go to Texas to get him, Tommy announced.  "Mommy, I need some money to go to Texas to get Gerbert.  Daddy, would you give me money and Mommy will give me some money, and I can go to Texas."  He pined away all afternoon for Gerbert.  We couldn't make him understand that Gerbert couldn't come here and that it would cost way too much to go to Texas to get him.  Tom explained that we wouldn't let Tommy go live with someone else just because that person wanted him to.  Neither could Gerbert live with us.

Tommy wouldn't be comforted.  And then I thought of how, as a child, I had pined for the boy who had waved to me from the back of a red pickup truck and a host of other dreams in my life that just wouldn't work out.  I began to understand the grief it caused my parents to watch me long so deeply for things that could never be.  I held Tommy in my arms and tried not to cry.  I remember Mama's eyes as she'd struggle to explain to me why I couldn't have what I wanted.  I sensed the pain my family had felt each time my heart had been broken.

I just hadn't realized that all this started so early.

Tom and Tommy were out gathering eggs when Grandma and Grandpa showed up for dinner.  After three weeks of not seeing his grandparents, Tommy exploded with joy:  "Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!"

He showed great interest in the surprises that they brought us from Seattle, then he presented Grandma with a gift -- a hand puppet of Ronald McDonald he'd gotten on our last trip out.   We put Samuel to bed after dinner and planned to put Tommy down, too.  But he had other ideas.

"I know a recipe we can make," he said.  He proceeded to list the ingredients.  Grandma and I were flabbergasted.  We're supposed to make this? we thought.  "Put on an apron!" Tommy told Grandma.

So we made his recipe.  We listened to his ingredients and agreed with everything, except the crackers and the apples.  We suggested quantities (otherwise we would have had three cups of flour and eight cups of sugar), and we vetoed putting the bread and the  peanuts in the mixer with the other things.  Otherwise, the recipe below is Tommy's own.  He wanted the house decorated so we found two balloons that still had a little air in them.  We hung them up and he lined the bookcase with his stuffed animals.  At 9:00 p.m. we ate Tommy's Party Pie and then sent a happy, tired little boy off to bed.

He's hardly mentioned Gerbert since, except to say we should change the name on the letter from Gerbert to Smokey the Bear.

Tommy's Party Pie

1 egg
1/2 c milk
3 T flour
2 T water
1/3 c sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1 mashed banana

Mix all these together.  Lay slices of bread in an 8x8 cake pan.  Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.  Pour the milk mixture over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

1 comment:

Joan Husby said...

I just found this post, Ginger, and it brought tears. Kids are wonderful, and the best part is the memories they scatter behind them.