There were two times when I saw my brother’s space jet in pieces. The first time was right after he opened the package.
“Whoa, that’s cool!” I said as I knelt down next to Calvin. A big blanket was spread out in the living room, covered with what seemed like a million colorful blocks. Calvin was carefully sorting them by color, size, and shape.
“What are you going to make?” I asked. Calvin pointed to the box nearby. The picture on the front showed a jet zooming through space.
He worked on that thing for hours. By the end of the day, it looked awesome. It had four rocket blasters and three robotic arms. The next day he added a movable windshield.
It was the third day when things went wrong. Calvin went to science camp, and I was home with Mom.
“I think it’s about time for Calvin’s jet to move upstairs,” she called out. I heard her footsteps heading up the stairs.
And then I heard a crash. The sound of a thousand plastic blocks hitting the stairs and scattering in a hundred different directions.
“Oh no!” I think Mom and I both said it at the same time. I ran to Mom, who looked ready to cry and was still holding her empty hands out in front of her. We started scraping pieces into a pile, trying to figure out how everything had fit together.
After a while, Mom let out a deep sigh and looked at her watch. It was time to pick up Calvin.
During the car ride, I kept thinking about how Calvin would feel about the news. Would he yell? Or cry? Or just be really sad? If it were me, I’d probably do all three. He had worked so hard on that jet!
“Hey, Mom!” Calvin said, sliding open the van door and hopping inside. “Today was way fun! First we learned about why plants need sunlight, and after that …”
His voice trailed off as he looked at us. “Is something wrong?”
Mom turned around in her seat.
“Today we were cleaning the house, and I tried to move your space jet. But I tripped while I was walking up the stairs and dropped it. I’m so sorry! It broke apart, and we couldn’t figure out how to put it back together.”
I looked at Calvin. I could tell he was trying to understand what she had just said. I was sure he was about to burst into tears or something! And then—
He smiled a little. “It’s OK, Mom.”
What? I could tell Mom was as surprised as I was.
“Really, it’s OK. I can fix it. Don’t worry about it. I forgive you.”
Now Calvin really was smiling. And he smiled even after he got home and saw the mess that was once his space jet.
Over the next few days, Calvin put together his jet without complaining once. And I realized that I could be nicer and more forgiving to my family members too—even when everything seems to fall apart.