When I graduated from college, I had a party. I didn’t really expect it, but people brought me presents. Let this be a lesson to all of you slackers out there: don’t quit, because in the end, YOU TOO could be the recipient of a ceramic candle holder in the shape of a flip-flop.

Actually, a lot of my college graduation gifts were pretty great. Bottles of wine and champagne, Philosophy body wash, a towel set from Restoration Hardware, and lots of cash.

But my favorite gift came from Luke.

At the time, Luke was almost 5. I had lived with Luke’s family for a while a few years prior, and he won my heart with his big blue eyes and genuine adoration of everyone he came across. Luke is the kind of kid that you want to want to dip in chocolate and wrap in sunshine and then put in a picture frame on your wall, just because that kind of goodness deserves to be kept around permanently.

That day, Luke approached me with a small box wrapped in tissue paper. His mom explained that they had spent hours at the mall, searching for the exact right present. As Renee would make suggestions, and point out various items, Luke would say, “No, Mom. I know what I want to get her.” He proceeded to wander aimlessly through the stores, eyes always looking, and continually turning down his mother’s ideas. “No, Mom. I know what I want to get her.”

When she asked him what he was looking for, he simply replied, “I know what it is. I just need to find it.”

Finally, they wandered into a kitchen store. And there, high on a rack, was a small magnet in the shape of an owl. “That’s it,” he said.

And through all of my moving and purging and traveling, that owl magnet has somehow always made the cut, again and again. And now, once again, it has wound up on my refrigerator.

Luke knew what he was looking for – he just didn’t know what it looked like. But when he saw it, he recognized it. I love that.

I hope that my life can be a reflection of that watchful perseverance. In so many situations, I know what I’m looking for – I just don’t know what it looks like. But I will keep looking, keep watching, keep searching – and hopefully, when I see it, I will recognize it.


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  1. Sarah on February 19, 2008 at 3:48 PM

    That gift came in neck and neck with kellyn’s leopard print wallet.

  2. Sally on February 19, 2008 at 4:54 PM

    I love your owl magnet. What a great reminder.

  3. luke on February 19, 2008 at 8:17 PM

    that’s beautiful.

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