In fourth grade a boy in my class gave me a gift. Just because. It wasn’t my birthday; there was no other holiday to observe that day. The most exciting thing going on at that time was the book fair going on that filled half the Parish Center with children and young adult literature and the other random, silly knick knacks. We kids could purchase any of these items before and after school, and we perused it as a class during the day when it first opened.
This particular day followed just like any other ordinary day. I couldn’t have anticipated that a classmate would approach me with a gift. While I had gotten ready for school and arrived like usual, Geoff had gotten to school and visited the book fair. There, he had specifically seen A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, and he bought it; though I hardly talked at school, it was known that I was a huge Pooh fan.
At some point in the day, I can’t remember if it was the very beginning of the day when we all got settled into our desks or at some break in the day where we were allowed to move around a bit, Geoff walked up to me and handed me the book. I must have given him a somewhat confused look because this was not an ordinary occurrence; I probably also hadn’t noticed that this not “cool” but nice guy might have a sweet spot for me. I took the book, probably mustered a softly spoken “thank you” to be polite.
My only immediate thought about it as I looked under my desk at the book in my hand a little while later was that I already had a copy of that book. The one I had at home was a nearly first edition, but this one had been specially picked out and given to me. I never really spoke to Geoff about it again except when he asked me a question about it later that day. I only really began to appreciate this gesture in subsequent years as I think back on the warm gesture when I see the book, reminded of the possible affectionate nature of it.