When Joey was 5 years old, his kindergarten teacher told the class to draw a picture of something that they love. Joey drew a picture of his family, and then he took his red crayon and drew a big circle around the stick figures on his paper. Joey wanted to write a word on top of the circle, so he got up from his chair and approached the teacher’s desk.
“Teacher,” he asked, “how do you spell----?”
But before he could finish his question, the teacher told him to go back to his seat and not interrupt the class again. Joey folded the paper and stuck it in his pocket.
When Joey got home from school that day, he remembered his drawing and dug it out of his pocket. He smoothed it out on the kitchen table, got a pencil from his backpack, and looked at the big red circle. Joey’s mother was busy cooking supper, but Joey wanted to finish the picture before he showed to her.
“Mom, how do you spell----?”
“Joey, can’t you see I am busy right now? Why don’t you go outside and play? And don’t slam the door,” she told him.
Joey folded the drawing and stuck it back in his pocket. Later that evening Joey dug the picture out from his pocket again. He looked at the big red circle and then ran into the kitchen to get a pencil. He wanted to finish the drawing before he showed it to his father. Joey smoothed out all the wrinkles and laid the picture on the floor near his dad’s big recliner.
“Daddy, how do you spell----?”
“Joey I’m reading the paper right now, and I don’t want to be bothered. Why don’t you go outside and play? And don’t slam the door.”
Joey folded the drawing and put it in his pocket. His mom found the drawing the next morning while she was doing the laundry. She threw it in the trash without ever opening it, along with a small rock, a piece of string, and two marbles Joey had found while he was outside playing.
When Joey was twenty-eight years old, his daughter Annie drew a picture. It was a picture of their family. Joey laughed when five-year-old Annie pointed to a squiggle stick figure and said, “That’s you daddy!”
Annie laughed too. Joey looked at the big rd circle his daughter had drawn around the stick figures and began to slowly trace the circle with his finger.
“I’ll be right back,” Annie said as she jumped off her father’s lap. When she came back she had a pencil clutched in her small hand. Her father moved the drawing aside to make room on his lap for his small daughter.
Annie positioned the pencil point near the top of the big red circle. “Daddy, how do you spell LOVE?” she asked.
Joey gathered the child in his arms and guided her small hand as he helped her form the letters.
“Love is spelled T-I-M-E,” he told her.