Amazing Kids! Magazine

Some Wishes

By Emily Cheung, 8th grade, California


My cousin fishes around in the turkey leftovers, pudgy fingers sifting through scraps of meat. I watch her keenly, never failing to be amused by her antics. We are seven, and are huddled together amongst adults chatting brightly over our Christmas family dinner. There is a feeling of nostalgia on her face that I can’t quite place, as if we have done this before and will do so again when we are older. There is a hushed moment, and when all the adults quiet down, my cousin lets out an excited shriek. I jerk back in my chair as she raises her oily fist, coloring the front of her shirt with splatters of grease. She beams at me, triumph oozing out of every pore in her body.

“Look!” She beckons for me to come closer, and I lean in. Among the scattered ligaments and turkey meat, she has chosen a small Y-shaped bone, and she neatly dangles it by the conjoined end. I nod my head in excitement, short ponytail brushing the back of my neck. We stare at it in awe, and then simultaneously reach for both ends.

“1…2….3!” We both yell at the same time and I tug my hand away from hers. The bone bends a little, but it is a quick snap that breaks it in two. I lean towards her as we compare our fragments, each hoping to have the bigger piece. Alas, these two bones are broken straight down the middle, both a mirror of each other. We try to fit the jagged ends like a puzzle piece, and decide we both have an equal chance of creating our own destinies.

As a seven year old, my wishes were filled with wanting to be surrounded by warmth, family, and love. Strangely, my wishes haven’t changed much. I still want to be surrounded by my loved ones, happy, safe, and warm. But today, I am more aware of the realities of life. Wishes are not created by breaking a turkey bone, or by throwing a penny down into a well. Dreams are shaped by the experiences of life, hard work, and the promise of a happy future.

Yet I haven’t forgotten the feeling of watching a shooting star flying overhead and wishing with all my might. Perhaps it is the ability of believing in wishes that makes my childhood so memorable. Although my cousin and I have long given up our search for turkey bones, I have not forgotten my childhood dreams, and the small child in me still believes that wishes come from broken wishbones.

This Christmas, I will search for that bone in the remaining turkey scraps, just like our seventh Christmas together. I will present it to my cousin, unafraid of staining my shirt. We will break the wishbone simultaneously, amongst our happy family chattering, and we will fondly look back on our memories together. This year, I will wish for my loved ones, and for myself, the courage to achieve my hopes and dreams.