Sometimes the gift that ends up meaning the most is the one to which you gave the least thought.
When Scott and I studied The Five Love Languages in Sunday School, we were not shocked to learn that gift-giving was not a love language for either of us. Our families usually get their presents within months of their actual birthdays not because we don't love them, but because we are horrible gift-givers. Scott and I take a bizarre approach to gifts that has worked for us for 17 years now. In short, you get a gift when you need that particular thing and then it's chalked up to the next gift-giving occasion. For example, Mother's Day often comes in February, but that's OK since I have usually burned my Valentine's Day present when I did something like drop my phone in January, etc. Right now, the gift I just received for Christmas 2012 is probably technically for our anniversary. In 2017.
I got a big, shiny, new computer. (Thank you, Santa!)
I decided to leave the world of PCs and go all Mac, all the time. I love the photo editing, the new software, and all the things I can do with a click of the mouse. And obviously, this giant computer came in a giant box. TWO giant boxes, to be exact.
As I was opening my new toy, the kids came running. "Here we go," I thought. "I can't even open this thing and my kids are going to want to play with it before I can even touch it." (Yeah, my Holly-Jolly was on leave at that moment.) But the kids had no interest in the computer. "CAN WE HAVE THE BOXES?" they screamed. And with joy and excitement on their faces, they dragged them out and into the night.
Hmmm, OK. These are thoroughly modern kids. They have a computer in the playroom and an iPad. When my phone is giving me trouble, Katie fixes it for me. But when I went to check on them, Davis had made a "jail" for his stuffed animals with his box, and Katie had made a dormitory for her stuffed animals with hers. They had taken markers and decorated the boxes and were horrified when I asked if I could throw them out. What was I thinking? I had to promise that I would not even THINK of touching their new treasures when they left for school this morning.
|Panda made bail, but he was bonded out by Clownie, who is known to break kneecaps. |
Davis's room is an underworld of shady characters.
I love it that my kids are getting older. I am very un-sentimental when it comes to aging. I love them at nine and six because we can do fun activities, we can take better trips, we can read more advanced books, and we can have heated discussions about whether Andrew Jackson was a great president or a monster for causing the Trail of Tears. (Guess which side Katie takes?) But I also tear up a little when I watch them, lost in their own imaginations, inspired by nothing but cardboard and markers, making new worlds for their old-fashioned teddy bears. Maybe I'm OK with their staying little a little longer.