Alyssa's BIG Birthday Wish


When Joshua went up to bed that night, he passed the girls' room and glanced in to see Alyssa standing in front of her dresser, looking down at the candle he had made for her, which she now held in both hands. She looked very thoughtful. Josh grinned and walked into the bedroom.

"Well, did your wish come true, Alyssa?" he asked.

Alyssa kept her eyes on the candle. "Yes, it did."

"It did?" Josh was faintly surprised, and suspicious. "What was your wish?"

"Can't tell," said Alyssa, still not looking up. "You wouldn't believe me, anyway."

Joshua snorted. "Thought so," he said coolly.

Alyssa didn't notice the tone. "Josh," she asked suddenly, "does this candle have more than one birthday wish in it?"

Joshua smiled at her serious tone. "No, Alyssa. One is all it can manage." When she didn't say anything else, he shrugged his shoulders and headed for his own room. "'Night, Liss," he called over his shoulder. As he switched on his bedroom light, he began to whistle, pleased with himself that a big ten-year-old like him could not be tricked by his little sister.

Alyssa didn't even notice he'd gone. She carefully laid the pretty candle down on the top of her dresser.

"I think," she said slowly to herself, "I think I'll give this candle to Mommy, for her to put on A.J.'s birthday cake tomorrow."


Later, long after Emily had fallen asleep, Alyssa still lay awake, gazing at her locket which shown in the light from the hallway. It was really very pretty.

Suddenly Alyssa had an idea. She got up carefully, crept over to Emily's art box on their little activity table and pulled out a pencil and a pair of blunt-nosed scissors. Then, opening the locket, she pulled out the heart-shaped frame and set it on the table. Alyssa went over to the dresser where Mommy had left the packet of pictures from her birthday dinner last night. She pulled out the photos, being careful to handle them by the edges, and sorted through them until she found the one she wanted. It showed A.J. in his high chair, his blue eyes bright and his chubby face happy and smiling.

Alyssa laid the heart frame over A.J.'s face and traced it. Then, carefully, she cut out the heart and pressed the perfectly-shaped picture into her locket. She studied it a moment, then shut it, quietly slipped over to her dresser, and gently laid the locket in her jewelry box. She then got back into bed.

Someday, Alyssa thought, the tall young man with whom she'd spent the day would be here to stay, and his kind smile and laughing eyes would blur the chubby lines of the baby he once had been. That thought made Alyssa a little sad. But she needn't be now, she knew. Thanks to Grandma's and Grandpa's locket, she would always remember how her baby brother looked right here, right now.

Smiling, she fell asleep.

The End