Brian’s exclamation came from the back seat. We were returning from our weekend grocery shopping spree in a Missouri town about a half hour’s drive from our place in the country. As always, the brownies and bananas never made it home. Brian and Debbie quickly devoured those as soon as they were inside the car. And now, they were examining the cereal boxes.
“I’M GOING TO GET THIS!” Brian announced.
“What?” I asked.
He passed the box up to me so I could see what he had found.
“A Star Wars thermo-glass!” I commented. “You need two box tops from two of these cereal boxes and one dollar!”
“I have the money!” Brian announced. “I’ve been saving for something big! I want this!”
“Well, okay. You have the money and one box top. Now you need another box top.”
“Can we go back to the store and get another box of cereal?”
“Brian, we are halfway home! You can wait until next weekend for that second box. And then you can send off for this.”
During the following week, Brian and Debbie both acquired a taste for that cereal. They ate it for breakfast and lunch, and they also ate it during their snack time. I am quite certain that Louie the cat and Heidi the poodle were also given treats. And the following weekend, we were back in the store acquiring the second box of cereal. Brian wasted no time in removing the box top. Then he had me fill out the order and address the envelope.
“We’re going to the library Monday,” I told him. “You can take this into town and mail it at the post office.”
“I’m going to get it ready!” he exclaimed as he ran down the hallway to his room.
When Monday morning arrived, a happy Brian bounced out to the car with a bulging envelope in his hand. When we were all in the car, I had to turn around to look at his pride and joy.
“What in the world do you have in that envelope?” I asked.
“Two box tops, the form and my money!” he responded.
“I have a dollar’s worth of pennies!”
“Brian, that will not make it through the post office!” I told him. “The envelope will rip open, and those pennies will drop out!”
“Oh yes, it will!”
“Why didn’t you give your pennies to your dad, and let him give you a dollar bill?”
“Because these are my pennies I saved, and I wanted to use them! Besides, I said a prayer for my envelope!”
Well, who was I to question the faith of a child?
When we pulled up in front of the library, Brian jumped out of the car and ran up the street toward the post office.
“I’ll bet we have to buy two more boxes of cereal and give him a dollar bill and do this thing all over again,” I told Howard.
Presently, a happy Brian bounced into the library.
“See? I told you! He took my letter!” he announced.
“The postmaster took your letter with all those pennies in it?”
“He put a lot of tape around it!”
“I’ll bet he did!” I responded.
The wait began. Brian raced up to the mail box each afternoon, hoping to find his package. Then about three weeks later, an excited Brian raced down the driveway with a package in his hands.
“See? I told you!” he announced.
“Is that your Star Wars glass?” I asked, completely surprised.
He tore the package open and sat staring at his prized possession.
“Two things must have happened,” I told Howard later. “Either the envelope made it through the mail with all that heavy tape on it and all those pennies inside it. Or, the postmaster waited until Brian left the post office. Then he made out a new envelope and replaced all those pennies with a dollar bill!”
Brian didn’t care what happened. He was so excited to have his Star Wars glass that he kept it on his dresser instead of in the kitchen. He drank all of his beverages from it ranging from Kool-Aid to milk. Then he grew up and left home, leaving the glass in our care, custody and control.
We kept it high in the cupboard for years until I re-discovered it several years ago. Today, it holds pens and pencils on an antique wash stand in our living room.