I try very, very hard to follow the Four Gift Rule for my little guy. Not in that he only receives 4 gifts, but that they have relevance to one of the four rules. As a reminder (or in case you've never heard), here they are:
So each year, I shop for clothes (easy, anything with an Under Armour logo works for him). I shop at Barnes & Noble (again, easy... he LOVES to read and loves all things Wimpy Kid). His want list is SUPER easy - he only writes down ONE thing that he wants more than anything in the entire world. Simple, solved.
It's the needs list that I struggle with. What does he really need? To be honest with you... not much. Little guy has never needed for much in his life. I feel fortunate for that and proud because of it but I worry that there is a key element of life that he isn't learning. Or maybe I should just shut up and be happy that I am able to meet his needs. I certainly don't intend to make him struggle but I do want him to know the difference between a need and a want.
On Christmas morning, little guy pounced down the stairs. The excitement in his face was almost unbearable to see - he could hardly contain himself. As he turned the corner into the living room, he saw his brand new Playstation 3 with a big red bow around it and squealed with delight. He fell upon the floor and did some weird break dance looking move (yes, I totally tried it in the 80's. So what?!). We sat and watched him silently for moments, smiling inside and out. It was awesome. He asked if he could fire it up and of course we said "GO FOR IT!" as I trotted to the kitchen to make some coffee.
He loved his gift. He still does. He is in total heaven. But it wasn't until Christmas night that I watched his need unveil itself to me and be fulfilled in front of my very eyes.
First off though - I was quite concerned about the games he received this year to go with his PS3. Shooting games. War games. In light of Connecticut (and all the other evils in the world right now), I have been really worried about him being influenced by these games. Becoming a recluse. Being that boy that hides in front of the screen for hours, desensitizing himself to death and destruction. Genuinely worried about it.
It took a great deal of discussion to help me find calm with it, from both hubs and Bubba.
Stage right, Jeremy. We had chat off and on all day on Christmas Day. I was so sad we weren't together - our first Christmas season apart from one another in 23 years. Ugh. My heart was breaking. Kate was sending me pictures of Eli and I would laugh and then tear at every single one - so sad to be missing his little joys, his laughs, his excitement.
Jeremy gave us all the best present ever and fulfilled little guy's need list perfectly Christmas day. In the stuff Santa brought, little guy was given a headset. Online access to that game I hate. But with that, came online access to Bubba.
Yep, he could talk to Jeremy. And not only did they talk, but Jeremy directed Coop through the game, protecting him from hearing other people's smack talk, teaching how to play and providing him guidance in only a way a big brother can.
They played for hours together. Each time I walked by the living room, I smiled at Cooper. My heart was so full, so happy.
His needs were met by his big brother this Christmas.
I'm a lucky woman. I didn't pull it off on my own but God unveiled it to me. It's crazy how that happens!
Have a great Thursday, friends!