A Quest for the Perfect Present

big box.jpgHave you ever been really excited about giving a gift? You’ve bought something that’s the perfect gift, and you know the recipient is going to love it? You anticipate the smile and joy the gift will bring? You can’t wait to watch the person open it?

I have a gift that arrived via UPS yesterday (several days earlier than I was expecting it). It’s a great present. I know my dad is going to love it. And now it’s sitting here in this big, cool box, and I have to wait a week and a half to give it to him!

I enjoy giving gifts. I enjoy coming up with a special item that perfectly fits the recipient and the occasion. I’ve been told that gift-giving is my “language of love.” I suppose that’s true.

My dad turns eighty in a couple of weeks, and we’re having a celebration. It’s kind of a big deal, so I’ve spent a considerable amount of mental energy on this – the quest for the perfect present. A phone call to him resulted in no good ideas. A couple of conversations with my mother also yielded zip. So I was beginning to feel anxious. I’ve bought the man more puzzles, billfolds and shirts than I can even remember. Each year it gets harder. I wanted this one to be more special, something a little out of the ordinary. And I have a reputation to maintain!

Trying not to hurt myself with the back-patting, but I’m so happy that I finally had an epiphany while on vacation last week. Whew! Don’t you love it when that happens? I ended up ordering it online because retail store options were limited. So I didn’t get to touch and feel it. Didn’t get to see the actual color and material, so when I hit the “purchase” button, I was a little nervous. Opening the package yesterday was a relief. It’s great! Did I mention perfect?

I won’t give it away in case there are family members reading this. But, trust me, it’s a good one. Can’t wait to watch him tear into this package, and snap a couple of photos. The anticipation of his smile makes me smile!

What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?

 

Feeling the love

P1030093Over the weekend I had the joy of celebrating my son’s 19th birthday. Today, I’m taking dinner to the family of a two-year-old boy who’s battling leukemia. It’s a hard thing to get my head around. And I’m feeling so many emotions – most of all I’m so grateful for a strong, healthy kid. I’m also grateful for the love, kindness and encouragement that little boy’s mom showered on my son thirteen years ago. You see, she was my son’s first grade teacher.
I imagine everyone remembers, and hopefully loved, their first grade teacher. I remember mine with fondness. First grade was the first year my son was away from me all day five days a week. Kindergarten was a half day, and preschool was only three days a week. This was a kid who I had to pry off of my legs when he was in preschool. He’d cling and cry for me not to leave him. This, of course, was traumatic for both of us.
So first grade was significant. And having a fun, caring teacher who connected and bonded with my son was a huge relief. He had a great year, and we’ve remained friends with this special teacher. Now she has a son of her own. I can only imagine the fear and sadness she’s feeling as her precious boy undergoes painful, unpleasant procedures, in and out of the hospital, being poked and examined. Such hard things for a mom to watch.
I want to help, but there is so little I can do. So I offer small gestures and acts of kindness, and big prayers for healing for this adorable kid who always has a smile on his face, and is so very loved and cherished by his family.

Darlene

Fund Tyler

I have a grown-up

holding EToday’s a funny day – a day of memories and a few mind-boggling gulps. Thirty-two years of marriage, and a kid twenty-four years old. Same day, eight years apart.

Of course it happens to everyone who has kids, that how-did-this-happen, where-did-the-time-go kind of awe mixed with sadness and maybe a little panic.
Wow. My daughter is 24, a double dozen years. The panic, of course, is what it means in terms of my years, not hers!

I think back on the first twelve years, and it’s astonishing how many things happened during that time – from learning to talk and walk to starting school right up to the brink of adolescence. And this last dozen – incredible changes like, um, growing up! Twelve years doesn’t really seem so long, but those years represent the angst of middle school, the drama of high school with its activities, achievements and learning to drive. Graduation. And then college. The years of figuring things out and exploring options. Another graduation. All of the years of college done and gone, already part of her past. Amazing.

Now she’s on her own, working, paying most of her own bills. 🙂 That part is quite exciting. So is the next chapter for her, which begins in a few short months when she’ll begin a PhD program that will set her on the path to becoming a scholar in the field of marine biology. Very cool stuff, so while I lament the passing of so many years, the wrinkles around my eyes and those few extra pounds, I look forward to what’s ahead . . . more birthdays, more milestones and more memories as time marches on!