A Child Is Given

At Christmas-time, Timmy Jr. falls seriously ill.

Written by Robert Hamilton; produced by Nigel McKeand; directed by Richard Kinon. John Rubinstein: Jeff Maitland. James Karen: Dr. Addison. Michael David Schackelford: Timmy.

Willie: I happen to know for a fact that she's getting me the present of my dreams.
Buddy: Humph! I am not.
Willie: Yes, you are. A Mount Everest pen.
Buddy (presumably quoting a commercial): "The pen that has inspired the great writers of our time." Yuck.
Willie: You can't kid a kidder, kid. It is a little embarrassing, though. You getting me the ideal present, and all's I'm getting you is...
Doug: That's enough, now! You're not supposed to know what presents you're getting.
Buddy: Oh, it's OK, Dad. Willie's getting me an authentic Mickey Mouse watch. Antique, of course.
Willie: A Mickey Mouse watch? They're for kids. Gee, I'm sorry, Peaches, but you're really way off the mark. I'm sorry. That [Christmas wreath on the door] looks perfect, Dad. Just beautiful. I'll see you later. [leaves]
Buddy: I hope he's a better writer than a liar! Dad, where do I get one of those pens, anyway?
Doug (still not getting it): Oh, so he was right!
[Nancy and Kate are at the hospital.]
Kate: Is Jeff coming?
Nancy: Jeff? He doesn't even know we're here.
Kate: Honey, you must call him!
Nancy: We wouldn't be here if it weren't for him.
Kate: Nancy, Jeff is Timmy's father. You must tell him his son is ill. He'd never forgive you.
Nancy: I'll call him.
[Cut to Jeff's place. Phone rings twice. Jeff walks in the door, hears it ring a third time, rushes to pick it up; Nancy hangs up before he gets there.]
Jeff: Hello?
[Nancy slowly walks back from the payphone.]
Kate: No answer?
Nancy: No... no answer. I don't know why I thought there would be. Just because our son is ill, there's no reason why his social life should come to a grinding halt.
[Willie is hanging decorations on a Christmas tree. Buddy walks in.]
Buddy: Willie, stop it.
Willie: Stop what? I'm decorating a Christmas tree. It's Christmas Eve. Practically everybody else in the world is doing what I'm doing.
Buddy: I wanna go back to the hospital. We should be there.
Willie: No. They'll call if anything happens.
Buddy: Willie, I know what you're trying to do. But there's no such thing as magic.
Willie: Magic?
Buddy: You know what I'm talking about. You know you do.
Willie: All I know is... that we have a Christmas tree in this house every year, and we're gonna have one this year.
Buddy: Say what it's really about, Willie. That you can't stand to see anyone else sick. We should be there, like you were with Lizzie. Willie, the tree doesn't mean anything.
Willie: Oh, yes, it does. It means the same as it did last year. It's part of the cycle of life in this family. It's one of the constants. If we don't have it, it's as if we're saying it's all only a formality. I don't believe that. It's by celebrating the events in the cycle that helps keep us all together. I'm just trying to not let the cycle be broken.
[Pause. Buddy walks up, hugs him, sighs, and starts hanging decorations also]