Gabriel turned six yesterday. His birthday came and went so peacefully. I always let the kids choose the menu for the day. This boy was so easy on me. Of all things, he wanted Raisin Bran for breakfast. Hotdogs for lunch. And homemade burgers & buns for dinner. Cake? No thanks. He wanted ice cream drumsticks. While his choices fell far from the realm of my personal tastes, they certainly freed up my time. After dinner, Gabriel and I went to the movie store. The young woman behind the cash delighted Gabriel with her jovial birthday-cheer, along with the gift of a green lollipop. "Toy Story 3" was chosen, and the kids fell asleep watching it from the safety of their fort in the basement.
One moment, early in the day, really stands out with clarity. It gives me hope for the men and women my children will become. And it affirms and validates the efforts Aidan and I have made to raise children who give of themselves. In the morning on the breakfast table, next to the gift from Aidan and I, were an assortment of wrapped, wonky-shaped, scruffy-looking parcels. What followed was an exchange of thoughtfully-made K'Nex creations: A motorcycle from Caelah, a garage-- complete with retractable door-- from Elijah, and a "light" from Isaiah. (See picture.)
This humble giving was met with such graciousness from Gabriel. Some kids would have discounted a gift of re-purposed toys, that will likely be re-absorbed into the communal bin within days. But Gabriel loves being loved. That these were made especially for him, was more than enough.