Not too long ago someone I know wanted to buy my sons each a gift for Christmas. This person asked me if I knew what they would want. This was an easy question. My boys were just telling me about this certain type of Axe body wash/shampoo/deodorant kits that come in various scents. I love those gifts because my kids are getting to the age where they need to use deodorant and any time they request it I happily oblige (no offense to my kids but they are teenage boys who play baseball so that's 'nuff said).
When I came back with the kits from the store, the requestor asked how much I owe. When I said $10 each for a total of $20 I was told that was not enough. I was kinda surprised. "But that's what they really want and it didn't matter how much it cost."
It made me think back to all of these years that I have tried to show my kids that it's not the size of the gift or how much is spent on it but the thought and effort that goes behind the gift. Boy does that sound like my own mother but I can't help it. It's true.
The reflection made me think of my own cherished gifts. I have gotten so many of them over the course of my 44 years of life that most are bound to be forgotten. No offense to anyone who may have gotten me gifts in the past. It's not that I don't appreciate them and it's not that I don't love them but most times unless I write it down, I don't remember the details of those gifts 10, 12, or even 16 years later.
Except there was one gift I remember well. When my first child was born over 16 years ago I am pretty sure I received a lot of gifts, flowers and teddy bears. I am certain of it. I think. I don't know. I don't remember. But I do remember very clearly ONE gift that I got on that day.
After the baby was born, my mother, who was waiting in the lobby, came strolling into the room to see me. She had seen the baby in his bassinette and had the biggest smile I had ever seen on her face. She was truly beaming with pride. She was a brand new grandmother for the very first time.
She was also carrying a balloon. A big mylar Precious Moments "It's A Boy" balloon that cost a couple of dollars. That was all she had. This big balloon and a big smile. She apologized for not having more to give me and I told her that was just fine. And I have never forgotten it. And I don't think I ever will.