Tuesday, January 30, 2007

When People Really Get You

About like I planned, this birthday was not something to write home about. In fact - it may have been something to leave home about. For whatever the reason(s), my husband tends to just miss the birthday importance, in severe terms. It isn't that he didn't purchase a gift, he did. It was beautiful. We are on a budget and he was creative and it was very nice. The reality is, my birthday didn't even come up during the course of the day. Around 8:15 p.m., when my kids should be in the bed - I had a technical melt down. I couldn't believe that they didn't do a song, a cake, kiddie cards, the like....my husband missed that part with flying colors. It was a bit sad to say the least.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. A good friend had a inspirational moment and asked if she could drop by a few days later. Both budget challenged, this has been the first series of holidays that we weren't really able to celebrate in our traditional fashion. She showed up unexpectedly, with a big bag, hot pink tissue paper was exploding everywhere. She said, "this was a God idea." I couldn't imagine what she had decided.
Traditionally, she has a habit of filling some crafty basket with female items that we never purchase for ourselves. She will typically do some gourmet food, bath and body stuff, some odd ball thing only she would think of, a book, and wrap it with a creative twang of her own. Not this time. It was actually a bit odd.
I sat down at the table to open the bag....and wahla....a LMax Leapster, complete with the Cars cartridge and batteries. A gift that only a mother could love. My friend doesn't have kids and has become a surrogate mother for my three upon occassion. She is the "loving auntie" that has all of the goodie bags, craft distractions and popular toys - just because. We spend our days joking about her eggs and the need to use them quickly, so that I get to be the "cool auntie" for her kids. Meanwhile, what she did for my birthday was not about kids at all. Her gesture was about knowing a mothers heart.
Early this month 2 of my 3 children were having a field day with their Leapsters. One child has been the resident cool gift holder for years, and we purchased the second for my middle child for Christmas. I debated the idea of buying three, and opted for a less costly electronic laptop. I think we've used it twice. The cool gift is the Leapster.
On a visit to Auntie Cool's house, my son said..."I'm praying to God for Andrew to get a Leapster of his own." He prayed for a few brief moments and sincerely asked God to bless his brother. I said to my friend, if I had my choice, I think I would just purchase a leapster for my baby and consider that birthday completion. Our budget was more than tight after the holidays and we have so many competing interests that toys aren't the top priority they are a strategic choice. I didn't think much about it after that - in fact, it was probably surfacing around my March list of things to do. If I modified my Starbucks habit and had a bad day, the Leapster would soon be his.
Instead, on my dreaded birthday - the day I often avoid because depression looms - I got surprised. It is hard to surprise me. I opened that bag and saw straight through to the heart of someone who understands me. Sure, pamper me time is important for any mother. I work hard at my first priority and they are a treasure - most of the time. But during this seasons - when the glass was looking half empty vs. half full, I was reminded about the blessings of friendship. Having people who truly understand you is a gift.
My youngest son squealed, as he assumed rightly so that my birthday gift was his blessing. I get to see the 3 year old manuever his hotly saught gadget after months of patiently being last in line. He was and is thrilled about his leapster. My middle son says, "it's mommy's leapster not yours." What my friend understood was that the desires of our heart are most often expressed genuinely by our desires for others. It wasn't what I expected at all - but it was an amazing gift. A gift that makes you thankful for the people who really get you and don't apologize for understanding exactly who you are. Happy Birthday to me - with a sincere smile on my face.

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