The light is there, even if the tunnel is still pretty dark
At my kids’ school, they host a “Christmas Shoppe” every year. It’s a way to make money for the school and let the kids shop for their families for Christmas. I used to be cynical of the tradition but have really come to enjoy the excitement that buying for their parents, grandparents, and siblings can instill in my kids. Plus that, 20 bucks can go a long way when all the items in the store are between $1 and $5.
This year a friend of mine was a bit distressed because of the inability of her young boys to look past gifts that could only be described as appropriate for themselves to shop for their loved ones. My children do the very same thing and although I would love to think that at the ages of 3, 7 and 10 they care more about others than themselves, the truth is that it goes against a child’s nature to be selfless and it’s something we have to continue to try to teach them and model for them.
The good news is that there is a light at the end of the long selfish tunnel.
Joe, who is now 10, came home from school last week and told me he had gone back to the above mentioned shop at school that day and spent $5 that he found in his pockets earlier (I’m not willing to investigate further where the bill originally came from, one lesson at a time). Anyway, he bought a gift for his great-Grandmother because he “knew she would be sad this year”. See, our Pop made it to heaven in April and my son had the presence of mind to realize that this would be a difficult time for the wife he left behind. Or perhaps, he just wanted to show her he loved her – either way is good with me. Joe didn’t buy anything for himself with that money, just an inexpensive, wonderful bracelet for his grieving Monni-Moo.
Now, I have no misconceptions about his desire for “stuff” under the tree, but was delighted to see this selfless act & to be given yet another glimpse into his growing character.