When you receive a gift from a child it warms the heart like no other feeling in the world. Handmade gifts are even more special, because often times those become family heirlooms that are treasured and then passed down generation to generation along with the story behind it. This is how our ancestors did it. Long before there were computers and video cameras. Long before there were typewriters and audio recorders. Long before there were paper and pencils to write with. In ancient times, stories were passed down through narrations and songs. If you had an item that was linked with that story – well that was a special treasure that was not only coveted by the person who possessed it, but of everyone who belonged to the village, clan, or tribe.
Recently I received some special gifts from my girlfriend’s children. As I had mentioned before [here], my little buddy Gavin was invited to attend the Lone Star Leadership Academy in Dallas. He took with him some money that he saved up from various gifts and chores that he had done around the house. This was his spending money - $50 - his only spending money for the entire week long trip. Now, it should be noted that Gavin isn’t afraid to spend money. The fact that he was able to save $50 in first place was a monumental accomplishment. Usually, once he has enough money saved up to buy the latest Star Wars or Marvel Superhero action figure, his money is gone faster than a Texas rainstorm in June.
Gavin didn’t disappoint. True to his nature, upon returning from his trip, Gavin arrived with an arm full of items and an empty wallet. He spent it all. Only this time, he spent it on gifts for everyone else; his mom, his dad, me, and his little sister Brynn. He didn’t buy anything for himself. This also speaks to another trait that Gavin has – a big heart. I always thought he was an awesome kid, but this just took him up a few notches in my book. I thought his gesture was particularly special and thoughtful, especially for a 10-year old boy.
My gift? A “Professional Cowboy Golf Set” from the Ft. Worth Stockyards, comprised of a golf club made from pine, a pair of golf balls made from oak tree nuts, and a set of tees made from carved sticks. He was so excited; he couldn’t wait until Father’s Day to show me what he had got me. Oh, and I got a big hug too. Awesome!
My second gift was from Brynn. Brynn is very artistic and crafty, traits she gets honestly from her mother. Brynn loves drawing pictures, designing shirts for GeektGear, making handmade greeting cards and jewelry. One of her favorite things to do is write notes and messages on blank greeting cards and stationary, and then give them to you. The other day she gave me one that read, “I luv u Mick. Wil u mary mom?” There’s nothing like the subtlety of a child. Last week she gave one to her mother and I that read, “Mick, yur krazy an mom is to.” I laughed and laughed. She was mad at us because we wouldn’t let her do something she wanted to do, and as she often does, she expressed herself in the form of a greeting card. What made it so funny was the card she chose to express her angst on. It was a frilly card with a cute little teddy bear on the front holding flowers.
But the gift she gave me Friday was extra special. She made it with her own little hands, and it couldn't have come at a better time. I’d had a rough week, and when I came home, Brynn greeted me with a smile and a seashell tray that she molded and decorated all her own. It was a simple thing, but it meant the world to me. It also reminded me of the important things in life. It’s easy to get caught up in our day to day lives and lose sight of the special treasures right in front of us.
While the cowboy golf set and the handmade seashell tray were gifts I will always cherish, they pale in comparison to one precious gift - the love from a child.
Michael A. Walker
What are some of the gifts your child has bought or made for you? Do you still have them? Do you remember anything you made for your parents when you were a child? Share them. I want to read about them.
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