Journey with Enthusiasm

Feb 17, 2014



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Darnell placed the ribbon he removed from his graduation present to his side then began touching for the places on the wrapping paper where it was fastened together with tape.

“Just rip the paper, Darnell! Have a little fun opening it!” urged Darnell’s mother Yasmina. “I like the paper, mom. It can be used again,” he rationalized. “Well the paper ain’t the gift!” harrumphed Yasmina.

Darnell recently graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University. The single child from a single-parent home, Darnell’s high school scholastic performance earned him a university scholarship and an opportunity to escape the stereotypical disadvantages of his current demographics; achieving a better life for him and his mother was his strong drive. Once happy and carefree, Darnell strapped on the weight of self-imposed accountability, which Yasmina noticed burdened him, making him progressively solemn.

Darnell reminisced opening gifts as a boy as he carefully loosened the wrapping paper. He looked down and saw his boyish hand transposed over his adult hand like an apparition.  It motioned to tear at the wrapping paper but his thoughts cautioned, “Don’t be careless.” The boy’s hand responded, recoiling with disappointment. It then dissipated into thin air, like a blown-out candle, leaving him with his very prudent adult fingers.

He slowly lifted the paper off the gift unveiling a small pedal car and took a step back to examine it. It was a blue and green metal Astro Wheels, complete with a shiny chrome bumper, hood ornament and horn. Electricity tickled the back of Darnell’s ears, “Is this the same one I had as a kid?” “Only older,” Yasmina replied with a devilish smile.

“Wow! That throws me back…but I don’t get it,” he queried his mom.

“When you got this as a boy you were so excited. You went on about how you were going to travel the world in this car, just you and your stuffed bear Calvin. Wherever you pedaled that car, you saw a magical world. Even the end of our driveway became a wondrous place for you. You saw wizards and palaces and traveled to Africa and Mars.” Darnell looked up and met her loving eyes. “I want you to have that excitement back. The world is the same place it was when you were in that car. I want this car to remind you that the world is still full of magic. You just need excitement in your eyes to see it.”

Yasmina moved towards him and touched his hand. “I’m always going to be okay. Always was, always will be. Imagine yourself driving into your future in that car, and I guarantee you’ll be okay too.”

Darnell hugged his mom so tightly that she felt it come from the boy of his past. He finally released her, turned towards the Astro Wheels and lovingly ran his finger along the curving shape of its front fender. Reacquainting himself with it, he walked around its perimeter, his grin growing with each step. Finally, he leaned over the steering wheel, placed his hand on the horn and honked it with an accompanying holler, “Watch out world, Darnell’s coming through!”

Magically yours,