Not that kinda gift, but a gift no less. This simple gift has been invaluable to me over the past few months and it was given by a most unlikely person.. Here's how it went down.
Our son Jack had a buddy spend the night. When his parents came by to drop him off they came in and chatted for a bit. They are a fantastic family and Marc and I really like them. As they were leaving our chaotic house, they were telling us how they would be taking their one other child out to dinner and having a low key evening. Well, Marc and I couldn't help but go to that "place" we sometimes go to and started having this little "what-if" conversation with each other.
me: Wow, they probably think that we are insane with all these kids running around and then leaving their child to behave like a hooligan in the back yard with the rest of them.
him: Could you imagine being able to both go out and spend the evening with just one child and doting on them?
me: yeah, that would be great. You could even take one kid to the movies and it wouldn't cost $200.00 like it would for us to take our crew to the movies.
him: yeah, it would be so chill to just have one or two kids..could you imagine what we could actually accomplish in a weekend?
and so on and so on and so on...we go to these places and fantasize about how easy it would be to have 2 kids... it's the old scenario... "the grass is always greener....until you get there"
Anyhow, back to the gift...
So all the kids are playing in the back yard, we cook out and then hang around a bonfire. When it gets dark, they all grab flashlights and run around, hollering, and laughing up a storm. Occasionally, Marc or Grandpa hides behind a tree or playhouse and tries to scare the ba-geebers outta them and they all go wild. Now this is a very typical Saturday night around here. Then it happens... I was given the gift that has gotten me through the last few crazy chaotic months of readjusting with a new child that is just learning all the ropes.
Jack's little friend, in all of his 6 year old wisdom, is standing about a foot away from me trying to find a good hiding spot and he say's these words that have been echoing in my head when I feel overwhelmed. "This is the best day of my LIFE!" His words about knocked me over, he wasn't even talking TO me, he was just saying it out loud. I could feel them sink into my head. I had just been in a little pity party with myself about all of the things that I can't do for my kids since we have such a large brood. And just hours before I had seen his parents and felt a twinge of jealousy over the simplicity of the path they choose. It took the words of a 6 year old to validate me in that moment. You see I saw this little kid having it all...having what I wish I could give to each of my kids... and here he was having the best day of his life in our ordinary moment.
So my gift my not have looked like this:
But its value has been much greater to me. Marc and I have since vowed never to go back to the "what-if" place. There are so many positives to having a large family. There is bound to have a flip-side, but it does my psyche no good to go there. We are blessed, and I am thankful for the small reminders that it's the little things that mean the most.