Jenny selected the shiny brown bowl circled by a ring of cobalt blue. She hoped I would love it, and I did. She was excited to give the bowl to me as a gift. The ceramic bowl is the perfect size for almonds or pretzels.
Her older brother makes some unusual pieces, and when he has a bunch of new bowls fired, we get to pick whatever he hasn’t set aside for others.
Two days ago, Mark and Will came home from skiing. They told us of the adventures of the day, the trees they narrowly missed, the jumps they landed perfectly, and the ones they didn’t land so well. They made plans for the next skiing adventure and Mark headed for the door.
With his hand on the doorknob, Mark turned to me and said, “Hey Jess, you know that bowl that Jenny gave you – the brown with the blue stripe? Can I have it? I have a set of three and it matches my set. I know Jenny gave it to you as a gift, but I wondered if you’d mind trading that for a different piece so I could have a matching set of four bowls.”
I looked at Jenny to measure her reaction.
Mark turned to Jenny and said, “I know you picked that special bowl for your mommy, but I need it to go with my set. I’m sure you could pick another mug or bowl that your mommy would like just as much.”
Jenny shrugged her shoulders, looked down at the floor and muttered, “I guess that’s okay.”
I looked at Mark and said, “That bowl was a gift from Jenny to me. Do you really have to have that bowl?”
“Well, yes, I do. You see, it matches the other three bowls that I have at home. I have lots of other pieces that you can choose from.”
I looked at Jenny and said, “Are you okay with this?”
Jenny said, “I guess so.”
I handed Mark the bowl and he cheerfully said his goodbyes and was on his way.
Yesterday, we were near Mark’s business, and I asked the kids if they wanted to stop by and see their dad. We had to be downtown to run errands and it wouldn’t be right to walk by the big front windows of his building without stopping to meet and greet.
When we walked in the front door, he over-enthusiastically greeted us and said, “Hey, I have a bunch of pottery in my office. Let me get it and I’ll let you guys pick the piece you want.” He placed the pottery pieces on a big table in front of the kids and the employees, explaining, “Jenny gets to pick a piece to give to her mommy!”
A couple of the female employees gushed and said, “Well that’s awful nice of you, Mark. How sweet!”
Jenny made her selection and asked if I approved.
I told her that whatever she picked would be perfect.