Samuel eyed the present under the tree with trepidation. He attempted to return his parents’ smiles, wishing he had a brother so the responsibility wasn’t his alone.

With trembling hands, he peeled back the paper. It was a toy truck, but the contents were never important. He focused instead on showing the exact amount of gratitude to keep Christmas morning from turning sour.

Tomorrow amid scattered fir needles, tinsel and empty bottles, the yelling would start again. But today would be different. As “a good boy, grateful for what he’d been given,” there would be peace on earth.

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
8 months ago

How awful for a child to have to tread on eggshells, watch what they say, just to keep the peace. We can only hope that Samuel’s future will be brighter and his Christmases happier. A very sad story Mary.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
8 months ago

How pleasant to hear how Samuel manages to keep the peace. A good and a wise boy.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
7 months ago

I understand where Lotchie is coming from Mary, how many times have we, or we have observed the peace kept – to keep the peace – which brings to mind the saying…”The least said the sooner mended’.’

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary (@carrie-oleary)
7 months ago

What an awful situation for the child, a miserable existence to be sure. There is so much emotion in your story Mary. I’m sure you’re trying to make me cry ?

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
7 months ago

What a sad situation Samuel is in. What a big responsibility on a child to be cautious of what they say or how they react just to keep the peace. This is very sad indeed.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof (@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago

This is a traumatic situation for Samuel, especially since he is the only child and feels that he alone has to carry the responsibility to keep his parents satisfied. It will haunt him in school and as an adult. You have pictured his situation in a way that shows a lot of understanding and empathy, Mary.

Daisy Blacklock
Daisy Blacklock (@daisy-blacklock)
7 months ago

This story is so emotional. It shouldn’t be Samuel’s responsibility to maintain the peace. It is such a hard issue to deal with and make people aware of, and with this story you did just that. Congratulations on another brilliant and thoughtful story.

Daisy Blacklock
Daisy Blacklock (@daisy-blacklock)
7 months ago
Reply to  Mary Wallace

No problem Mary.

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