THE office meeting was going on and on. It was Halloween, and my three boys at home had planned festivities for the evening, and Mother was not there. I excused myself and phoned home. ``Somebody has to get Dan to the school party, dressed up as something!'' I told one of the older boys who answered the phone.
I was going to throw a sheet around Dan, my six-year-old, and have him go as a ghost. Perhaps they could think of something better.
I was assured they would get Dan to the school affair before they took off...
No one was there when I arrived home.
Soon the door opened, and Dan was practically shoved through so the boys could get on with their nightly trick-or-treating.
It was amazing what had been accomplished. Here was this small son of mine, dressed in a man's jacket and some sort of hat, his face with drawn-on beard, sideburns, mustache - and gleaming from sideburn to sideburn. An astonishing job, I had to admit.
``I won a prize, Mom!'' he gleefully announced.
I was thrilled that my three boys had cared for each other on this particular Halloween. Eleanor H. Buser, San Diego
At a very good time for our family of growing youngsters, the Monitor published an article about a family that awarded an ``achievement cake'' to any member of the family who received public recognition (straight A's, Scouting awards, becoming a grade officer or chairman of committees, etc.).
The story touched me deeply. I liked the idea of the whole family's participating in the reward and of the recipient being able to share one.
Our family used the famous ``Waldorf'' cake. Six children graduated from college and many achievement cakes. Achievements continued after the cake-giving had been discontinued.
Today, I would recognize not only the public achievements, but also acts of deep kindness, such as when one not-very-well-paid young adult was responsible for a Mother's Day dinner for me and two totally broke younger siblings, or when another child traveled many miles to help a 15-year-old sibling get adjusted to a school.
My seventh child, younger than the rest by several years, was also an achiever, but with just the two of us, a big cake was impractical. But I was just as proud of her.
Today the cake idea should probably be updated to an ``achievement pizza,'' which would serve the purpose just as well and meet modern tastes. Helen P. Robbins, Greensboro, N.C.
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