If you don't already know... we didn't get custoday of our nephew C until 11 months ago (January 2011)but have had him off and on through the foster system since he was three. He came here for the first time not being able to talk ... and he didn't know things such as body parts, colors, etc. So, I started on those things and as a first time parent have just worked my way through little lessons as time as moved on. Well, he recently made the statement that he wanted 150 presents for Christmas. I feel like I work pretty hard at making sure my children understand that the meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ... but I guess that simply knowing the meaning doesn't change their idea about getting presents on this holiday. So, after hearing C proclaim the need for 150 presents, I decided it was time to start working on a life lesson.
I explained that those presents cost money and that someone had to buy all those presents. So this year... to help him understand a little better... I told him he needed to pick 3 people that he was going to buy Christmas presents for - any three people. I expected maybe a best friend... a teacher... a brother... even a parent. But I got two aunts and an uncle. Okay... whatever floats his boat.
So today was the big trip - we went to Walmart and began shopping. The aunts went pretty fast - he picked out a couple of practical items and was excited to continue on. At this point we moved to uncle.. he decided on and then against ... a coke, pajamas, a christmas r&b cd, a christmas gift bag and a box of greeting cards. Let me just tell you... 40 minutes later and 7 laps around Walmart... I was questioning the need for this lesson... and then finally... we found it. The perfect present for the above mentioned uncle. The thing that will make his heart happy when he opens that perfectly wrapped gift. What is it might you ask??...
A package of post-its.
Finally ... we stand in line... his gifts are scanned... he counts out his money... he gets his 11 coins in change (he counted) and we walk away. Halfway to the door I turn around and he is happily walking along... "Where are your presents?" I ask. "Oh" ... he says. We returned to the check-out counter and retrieved the bag.
His life lesson? Generosity, selflessness, thoughtfulness. My life lesson? Patience.