My kids are the best gift givers I know.
This time of year my yard is covered with dandelions. Most people would look at my yard and think I had a sea of weeds. But I see a million bright yellow reminders of the beautiful gifts my children have given me.
When my kids were young, they used to love bringing me bouquets of dandelions and other weeds. My daughter started doing this before she was two years old. She immediately recognized how happy that very first bouquet made me and she followed it by giving many many many more. She gave me so many bouquets that I ran out of vases, so she started making me vases to contain all the weeds she gave me. My son followed in her tradition. He loved making up excuses to go foraging in the overgrown edge of our property. It was there where he believed he could find the best bouquet selection. One time he gave me a beautiful arrangement of ragweeds with a big cocklebur plant in the middle.
The bouquets my children gave me throughout the springs and summers of their childhood demonstrated that they were thinking of me. So, even when I received multiple bouquets a day that looked pretty much the same, each one was significant to me. I was also the recipient of many other thoughtful things. My kids were obsessed with coming up with the perfect gift to give for Mother’s Day, my birthday, Christmas, or to just make my life as a mom easier. I received a lot of homemade massagers made out of things like hangers, spools, pillow stuffing, felt, and food tongs to help soothe my aching joints. My daughter gave me The m&m’s Counting Book to read every time I was sick, because she was sure it would make me feel better. My son made me a cardboard robot with battery operated eyes that lit up when he started elementary school so I wouldn’t be lonely. They gave me lots of picture frames so I could look at photos of them. To help me feel pretty, my daughter gave me lots of handmade jewelry. To quench my thirst and balance my electrolytes, my son gave me Gatorade. I also received lots of coupons for massages, jewelry, and extra chores that I enjoyed redeeming. Just knowing that my children were thinking of me was so precious that it really didn’t matter what it was that they gave me.
Shortly before my birthday one year, when my son was four years old, he came out of the bathroom grinning ear to ear. He pointed toward the toilet and proudly said, “I pooped a ‘J’ for Julie.” Yes, the best gifts I have received have come from my children – literally.
I wish everyone could experience the profound love wrapped in the thoughts of a child.
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© 2016 by Julie Ryan. All rights reserved.
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