He pulls up with the truck.
I can see there are items in the back, but can’t quite make out what it is.
He walks in with a desk. It’s perfect. It has seen better days. It has the attached seat and the lid that flips open. It even has the ink well where many students dipped for ink to write in.
He places it in the basement and I look at it in awe. He turns and heads back up the stairs.
When he is gone, I run my hands over it. I boldly sit in it and spin back and forth.
Then I hear the door. What could else could he have? I hear him clamber down the stairs. It sounds big, cumbersome. What on earth could it be?
He enters the basement, but all I see are his legs. The work boots, the denim of his well worn jeans.
He turns and I can see. My eyes blink. Once. Twice. It can’t possibly be.
It is a chalkboard.
“They told us that we could take what we wanted. They were going to throw it all away. I thought you would want these.”
Yes, yes I would want these. More than any gift before and many gifts after. It was perfect.
I hugged him with all I had in me… but it didn’t seem like enough. I climbed up on my tiptoes and kissed his stubbled cheek.
“You are the very best dad there was.” I said.
“It really was just trash, but I thought you would like it. Now get on up to bed.”
I gave him one last squeeze and bounded up the stairs two at a time.
The next morning, I ran down the stairs as quickly as my slippered feet could take me and there, on the wall, mounted at the perfect height, was my chalkboard, and in front, placed perfectly centered was the desk.
My very own classroom. There could be no greater treasure. Or perhaps the man who got it for me is.