Being a mom for so many years already, has taught me to not want for anything too much. Its not that I don't have wishes or wants, its that my children come first and most times that means I go without. I am certainly not whining about that. It actually becomes second nature. A parent wants to be sure their children are cared for and even go so far as to give them things that they, the parent, never had but always wanted as a kid. There is a kind of pleasure giving your child a gift. When a daughter is twirling round and round watching the billows of her new dress and scuffling about to hear the clop-clop of her pretty "tappity" shoes (as my 5-year-old calls them).....well, it just warms the heart! When a son tears off outside to play with his new remote control plane, and soon is hollering at the top of his lungs from the backyard, "MOM! DAD! You've gotta come see this!"......well, it just makes a parent happy in a swelling-with-excitement kind of way. And lets face it, while getting a new toaster or socket wrench set is great and can evoke some excitement, its not the same as the wide-eyed, enchanting kind of excitement that can only be seen in a child's beaming face. So, as I said, I have learned to HAPPILY go without. But yesterday was a very different day. Yesterday, I went to bed feeling as though I had been showered with gifts.
I have to first begin by saying that I am married to an unbelievably wonderful man. He has known for some time that every year my Christmas seems to be missing something. There is a bit of an overshadowing of sadness each year. I miss being at my grandparents home on Christmas day so much. Yesterday, while we talked on the phone over his lunch break, my wonderful husband said if I wanted to go this Christmas he would buy me a plane ticket! He didn't even mind if our own family Christmas was put off for a different day so that I could be at my Grandparents. I cried.....a lot. (I am crying again as I type this) "No baby, I am not going to do that", I explained, "Not being at my Grandparents does feel like there is something missing, but not being with my own family would feel just awful." He heard what I was saying, but wanted to be sure I understood that he was completely OK with me going. I was being given the freedom (guilt free) to be somewhere else on CHRISTMAS DAY! He explained that didn't feel like I was wrong or selfish and that he didn't even feel like the travel costs were a frivolous expense. In fact, he told me that he would work overtime to pay for the plane ticket! His loving gesture meant more to me than any monetary gift ever has or ever could. I am not accepting the gift. My place is with my own family. And while there is a little something missing from my Christmas day each year, if I was not with my husband and children, there would be something much bigger missing. But his desire for me to be happy, even above that of his own, has helped me fully understand that giving begins in the heart. And that no matter the gift being given, it truly is the thought that counts.