Jack's school has a holiday boutique in the cafeteria (I think) for about a week or two. Crafts, small gifty items, and other little knick knacks abound. We were able to give Jack a certain amount of money, via a blank check and a note to the school about how much he could spend, and on whom. We picked ourselves of course. The thought of Jack having a budget and getting to shop for us was extremely pleasing to me. I knew how excited he would be to pick out something special for his Mom and Dad.
On Monday when I was in NYC and Dennis picked Jack up from the bus, I got a voicemail from Jack.
Jack: Hi Mommmmm, I got you something REAL speeeeccciiiaalllll... Anyway, where are you. Call us back.
When I came home I saw the gift bag on the floor. I tried not to peek.
me: Jack, Now you have to wrap the presents for me and Daddy, and we'll put them under the tree.
Jack: (mild panic) What? But I don't know how to wrap. You have to help me, but then you'll see the presents!
me: Oh I know. I'll get you 2 gift bags and then you can put my present in one bag and Daddy's in the other. How's that?
Jack: Okay! Let's go do it now.
I left him in my office with the instructions to separate the presents, put them each in a bag and then cover it with tissue.
Jack: Mom! You got way more presents than Daddy!
me: How many things did you buy?
(We didn't allot much money for each gift. $10 I think? Or was it $5?)
Jack: Wait a minute. Oh noooo. I have bad news Mom. Daddy has more presents than you. (big frown)
me: That's okay sweetie, Daddy will be happy. Now you should label each bag so we don't get them mixed up. (he used post-it notes rather than ruin 2 perfectly good bags by writing on them.)
After Jack went to bed I came into my office to clean up. I noticed some small weird cardboard boxes on the floor and realized that whatever Jack had bought for us had come in small boxes. Rather than put the boxes into the gift bags, he took the gift out of the protective box and put that into the gift bag. I hope they aren't fragile! And I tried not to peek but I may have glimpsed a photo of a globe on one of the small boxes.
Anyway, I can't wait for Christmas to see if Jack gets excited to watch us open the gifts that he picked out. I love giving him the opportunity to feel proud of himself and also to feel the spirit of giving. I always get it in full force around this time of year. And if the last 5+ years prove anything, Jack will feel the same way.