Little Boy Compassion Melts My Heart
I don’t need much for my birthday. I’ve always made that clear. Cards with heartfelt messages are actually what I appreciate the most, which can pose a problem for my husband because what does one buy for someone who doesn’t want anything?
Once in a blue moon he’s able to find something that I didn’t even know I wanted, but end up treasuring forever: a giant Madras-plaid beach bag that now smells of Coppertone and seashells and laughter, fuzzy black Ugg boots that warm my bare toes in the winter, tickets to a musical in the city that made my heart sing.
Other times, he has sweated it out and has come up empty. One particularly sorry gifting attempt occurred when he apparently gave up his quest to find the perfect something and just went pantry shopping moments before the curtain rose. He presented me with a plastic grocery bag containing – I kid you not – a sleeve of crackers, a can of tuna, a bar of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, and a pair of my very own socks, which he must have lifted from the dryer nearby.
My then 7-year-old watched the whole spectacle unfold, and, instead of thinking it all a bag chock full of hilarity, as we did, he merely slipped upstairs and stayed put for quite some time.
At long last, he walked back down the stairs, hands hidden behind his back, and proudly presented his Lego masterpiece to me saying, while purposefully glaring at his dad, “I’m sure you’ll like this better than the dang CRACKERS!”
And my heart melted on the spot.
I keep his gift on a shelf in my office. It’s a little thing, but, oh, do I love what it stands for.
I don’t need, nor do I cherish most “things”: love and little boy compassion, though, I always will.