Mom made me write thank you notes for all my Christmas presents. “Can’t I do it later?”
“No," Mom said. "If you don’t do it now we’ll forget to do it at all.”
Dear Uncle Fred, I wrote, thanks for the yo-yo. I was really excited about it until I noticed that the middle was loose and it wasn't letting the yo-yo come back. Love, Charlie
Mom came out of the kitchen to check on how we were doing.
“Leonard, have you finished your notes yet?” Mom asked my brother, who was zooming his new quad copter around the room.
“I’m making a thank-you video,” he said. The copter hovered over his pile of loot, then turned its little camera eye toward Mom, who was not looking impressed.
“Written notes,” Mom said.
She came to read over my shoulder. “Where’s your yo-yo?” she asked me.
I picked through the bits of wrapping paper and open packages on the floor until I found where I’d dropped it when I realized it didn’t work.
Mom tried it.
“See?” I said when the yo-yo just sat, whirring, at the bottom of its string, when it should have rolled back up to mom’s hand.
Mom took it over to the computer and typed something in. The yo-yo company’s website came up, along with a video of some kid doing all these super fancy tricks.
“Oh, I see,” Mom said, sounding a little disappointed. “This isn’t a regular yo-yo. It’s a trick yo-yo. Would you like me get you a regular one instead? It’s going to be hard for you to learn to use this one.”
“No,” I said, watching in fascination as the boy in the video made his yo-yo dance and whirl and bounce off its own string. “I like this one. How do I do it?”
Mom had to go back to making Christmas dinner, so Dad helped me find a trick to learn.
We watched a video that showed us how to make the yo-yo come back up. The guy in the video made it look so easy, just wrapped the string over his finger, then under the yo-yo, then a little tug and snap! The yo-yo went right up into his hand.
Dad tried it and did it the first time.
I tried it and nothing happened.
Dad showed me again and again, but for some reason, when it was my turn, I just couldn’t do it. After a while Dad went to help my older brother with his copter and then it was just me and the yo-yo.
I wound the yo-yo up and threw it, just like Dad had showed me. I wrapped the string over my finger, under the yo-yo, a little tug, and... drop! It just spun there at the end of its string.
My brother’s quad copter buzzed my head.
“Fly that thing away from people!” Mom said. “At least until you’ve learned to control it!”
I tried again. This time the yo-yo actually climbed the string about one inch.
Another try, and the yo-yo smacked into my other hand.
Once again, and this time the yo-yo whirled up its string and leapt right into my palm, almost as if by itself. “I did it I did it!” I yelled, dancing around.
Mom clapped and cheered for me. “Do you want to write a new thank-you note now?” she asked.
“Sure,” I said.