Sunday, August 30, 2015

Birthday Money

My youngest son turned four this week and it's been a time of reflection. I look at his sweet round eyes and remember the very first time I looked into them. I pick up him up and bend my knees with the weight of him and remember a time when he fit in the crook of my arm. As much as I adored his babyhood, there are many more things I love about watching him grow. I get glimpses of who he is and who he will be and it simply overwhelms me with love for him.

This week his grandparents sent him a check for $100 for his birthday. He opened the card and my oldest grabbed the check. "DREW!!!! This is for ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS!" he exclaimed.
"Oh. That cool."
"It's really cool. It's, like, so much money! You could buy lots of toys with this money! Almost anything you want!"
Finally getting with the progam, Drew ran into my bedroom with the check. "Mommy! Grandma and Grandpa sent me $100!"
"Wow! That's so generous of them! What are you going to do with all that money, babe?"

He dropped his eyes and rubbed the check back and forth between his fingers as he thought. He looked up and said with resolve, "Mommy, I am going to help you pay for stuff. I'm going to buy you anything you want. Anything! What do you like?"
I was completely taken aback. "Honey, it's your money. It's okay. You don't have to buy me anything."
"But what do you like?"
"Well, I like books. I can never have too many books."
"Then I will buy you a whole library! Would that be good?"
I wrapped him in a bear hug and he fiercely hugged me back. "I love your generous heart, Drew."
"I love you, too."
He jumped up to go back to playing but I stayed for a few minutes longer. I was almost knocked over with love for this child. Have you ever felt that? When you look at them sleeping or doing something really well or doing the right thing and you just suddenly can't breathe? It was just like that. I was overcome.

We spend a lot of time feeling critical of ourselves and our parenting. It seems that our time would be better spent reflecting on all that we are doing right. Our children are polite because we have taught them to be. Our children are generous because they have witnessed and experienced generosity. They are confident because we have reminded them how incredible they really and truly are. It's hard work, but the dividends you earn in love are exponential.

Take a moment today to notice all the wonderful attributes your children have and thank God for the opportunity to help shape their character. 

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