This post is a little late since it is more than a month since Christmas, but I, like the rest of the world got caught up in all the hustle bustle business of “December” which bled over into “January”. My grandchildren are the center of my universe and every ounce of the joy they bring me lights up my dark places and keeps me centered and humble. Please forgive the tardiness, but read on.
This year my boys are 5 and 6 and full of pure rambunctious energy. I know no one on earth more loud than these two boys except maybe their dad, and when they are out in public, you know it. Inside voices?... fuhgettaboutit. Baby K is almost 2, and the sweetest angel on earth. I started a tradition two years ago when the boys were very young, and I hope it’s one we can continue as long as I am around. Since they are from a split family, they have a long list of people in their lives who love them as much as I do, but this tradition is for their mama’s side of the family. Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s Off to Dollar Tree We Go with a list in hand of their loved ones so they can each pick out a gift to them for Christmas. I wish I could capture a picture of the entire experience, but believe me, handling a toddler and two wild boys by myself is an adventure of its own and the distraction of a camera would be just enough to send me over the edge.
This trip, baby sis got to ride in the cart and “helped” pick out candy and cookies for herself, which consisted of pointing and grunting through that binky - Maggie Simpson style - but the biggest entertainment of the day for me was watching my boys so very thoughtfully and very carefully pick out each gift for everyone on their lists. First on the list was Mom… she got a new makeup brush from one and some eye shadow from the other. Next up was mom’s beau.
Braydon (here) said, after picking up a box of cookies, “momma bought some of these once and he LOVED them so, so much, so I want to get these for him”. He bought a spinner toy for beau’s son “I’ll teach him how to use it”.
Mason (here, with baby K) said “Papa is always out of batteries, so I’m getting these for him”. He also picked out some play money for beau’s son “he’ll like this, I think there’s about $350 dollars in there!” and he found some beef jerky for his carnivorous uncle. “Mmmm, yummy, I like this beef stuff too.” He slipped a box of cookies behind his back and into the cart so baby sis couldn’t see her gift. She didn’t even notice as she had already picked out a box of Lifesaver Gummies for herself. She calls them “nummies” and for the entire ride in her cart, she held them up to me and said “Open. Nummies.” over and over again. The explanation of having to pay for them first went on deaf ears, but she didn’t fuss and eventually I gave in to her sweet baby face and opened them for her. Not the first time I've done that, I'll admit that here.
Let me share that I had old ladies smiling and cupping their mouths with delight and complimenting me on the manners of my boys as they kept saying excuse me to get by people in the narrow aisles and the yes ma’ams were flowing like melted buttah. “Oh my, these are the most polite children!” “You can tell they’ve been raised right, you must be very proud!” (If they could only see the thought bubble over my head at that moment, the same one I had when I first heard words of praise from my daughter’s Kindergarten teacher. This thought… “Wait, my child? Are you sure there isn’t another child with the same name in your class?”) If the People of Dollar Tree only knew how wild these boys can be or how many times they’d been taken out of stores by a frustrated and exhausted mama… but not today. Today they were incredible and good as gold. And I said thank you very much to every fellow shopper.
I’m not sure what happened, a little Christmas magic perhaps, but whatever it was I’ll take it. They’re learning an important message about giving from the heart. Even a simple $1 gift, given with love is what the whole idea of gift giving is all about. Choosing the wrapping paper and writing the names on the tags was important to them too.
My gift from them was the pleasure of witnessing selfless acts of love for the people who mean the most to them. Thank you for the Merriest Christmas ever, my sweet grandtots, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I love you more than you’ll ever know.