To some people.
If you read the blog or we speak personally out in life, you know about this story that is attached and what I think it to be. It is, among other things, a Christmas gift from me to you and your families. It's a story called "Best Present Ever" that I wrote as more than a story. It's a story for children, for you to read with your young ones, if you have any. Or your older young ones. Or anyone you care about, really, of any age.
There isn't a single word of this 5200 story that a child would not understand. I wanted to create, and knew I was creating, the ultimate Christmas work. Something that would take its place, in time, in millions of homes. In millions of lives.
I have everything against me right now. Mostly everyone. For now, you people--those who choose to read this work--are going to be the only ones who see a work I think everyone will know in time.
I first wrote this story in November. It grew. There came a point when I was walking around with the knowledge that I had done something special. Something more than a story, as I've said.
This story represents so much of what I've come to know and believe. How I've become. What I think most matters in this life.
I couldn't have written it five years ago. Or two. I would have written something else in the time I spent working on this story. It would have been just as good, because that's how I am now, how I've been as an artist for a long time. But it wouldn't have been this.
My journey has brought me here. My understanding of what grace is. This story will likely go in either No Mercy When We Get There: Stories to Wreck You or S/He/R/Me: Becoming Story. That'll be figured out in the near future. I think it would also be perfect as a stand-alone mini-book, like a stocking stuffer. But this Christmas, maybe a dozen people will know it, and that will be all.
If you are going to read this story to your family, I would suggest reading it first on your own, so that you will be able to get through it when you read it to them. I've worked on this story a lot. For me. And each time I have sat down to read it back--and of course I know everything that happens in it, though I'm still surprised anew each time--I lose it. I can't not cry when I read this story. It doesn't matter if I'm trying to be business-like and efficient, on the hunt for typos here or there, or a word that perhaps should be changed. The story takes me each and every time.
I know what's going to happen in sharing this. It's me. So, maybe five people here are going to read the story, and maybe two will actually say anything to me. That's how it works here at present.
But there isn't anything more powerful than this story.
I said it was a story for children, and that's true. I thought of children with every single line, every single word. In every one of them, I answered to the child. My eyes were the eyes of a child, my ears the ears of a child, my heart the heart of a child, but my soul something else, because the soul develops in time and life.
So even more, this is a story for adults. There is a child that lives somewhere in all of us. The child may be buried deep down, but the best adults--in the way I mean best--retain contact with that child and the best things that child represents. The adult can give shape and direction to those best things. The child needs the adult. But the adult also needs the child.
So this is my Christmas gift to you and your family. I worked really hard to have this done in time for the holiday. I hope you read it, because I think you're really going to like it.
I leave you now with Amara, a very special eight-year-old girl.