Monday, January 2, 2012

The best and the worst.

We all have our best and worst gifts from the holiday season. Maybe you received a strange porcelain frog with fake eyelashes and a bikini? (worst) Or maybe you got a BRAND NEW CAR (cue game show host voice). It doesn't really matter what your best and worst are because normally they aren't found in the same package. Right?

This holiday season my preconceived notions about bests and worsts were turned on their head by none other than Child #2.

On Christmas morning he paused from ripping paper off of boxes long enough to deliver a wrapped box to my lap. "This one's for you, mom," he said. "Here, let me open it for you." He ripped the paper off of the box and we discovered another wrapped box inside.

"Don't open this one," he said. "You have to read the card first."

Inside the card was a xeroxed copy of the following poem.

This is a very special gift
That you can never see
The reason that it's special
It's just for you from me

Whenever you are lonely
Or when you're feeling blue
You only have to hold this
gift and know I think of you

You never can unwrap it
Please leave the ribbon tied
Just hold this box close to your heart
It's filled with love inside

Awwww. So cute, so sweet. Clearly a great gift to a mother from a son. But then he added, "I was thinking you could wear it on a string around your neck. That way it would be right next to your heart whenever you need it."

For those of you that know me, and those of you that don't, the chances of me wearing a box on a string around my neck are, well, next to nil. I'll do a lot for my children but I draw the line at wearable art, especially when it's the cardboard kind.

After a quick round of negotiations, we settled on my purse as an appropriate place to keep my box of love.

In the days that passed after Christmas I was busy, along with every other parent in the United States, trying to occupy my children before they went back to school.

We went roller skating, ice skating, to the movies, swimming and hiking. During every one of these activities Child #2 would suddenly ask, as though he suspected I was trying to put one over on him, "Mom! Where's your box of love?"

The love box demands took on the feel of those random sobriety check points that pop up during the holidays. Every time he asked for it I managed to produce the box, although after traveling in my purse for just a week it was already beginning to look squashed. 

The random love box check points were also accompanied by a love box inspection. "Mom, you've got to be careful with your box," he told me after the last inspection. "Do you see this corner here? It's squashed. If it gets torn some of the love might leak out. You wouldn't want that, would you?"

No, no, I absolutely wouldn't want that. And there you have it. The best and the worst all tied up in one, not-so-small, package.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I hope that box of love survives the year!

Tonja said...

That's cute. You should put it in a zip lock bag to protect it. :)

Unknown said...

Okay, this is a little bit of a stretch, but it might about a little jewelry box, earring size, you and the munchkin could carefully snip a corner of the love box, pour some love in the 'little, travel size, so I never have to take it out of my purse' box, and then quickly tape up the corner so no more love spills out...? Because clearly, the big love box MUST be kept somewhere VERY important so that it will never be in a keepsake box, or in a special drawer....good luck ;)

Thomas A. Knight said...

It's times like this that I assault my children with those two most dreadful of parent tactics:

Logic & Truth.

"If I carry this box of love around with me, it's going to get squashed, and ripped and broken. If that happens, the love will leak out, and we wouldn't want that. At least, *I* certainly don't want that. But what I will do, is find a very special place for it, where I can see it every day, and it will stay safe."

This tactic is irreproachable. Child can not deny the logic of it, and you get out of wearing/carrying said object around everywhere you go. You also solve the checkpoint issue, as when prompted, you simply answer "It's in it's very special home, where I can see it every day."

A very thoughtful gift from your child. Treasure it. :)

Connie J Jasperson said...

I LOVE this! Child #2 not unlike my own child #3. That is both a terrible cross to bear, and source of great pride for me!

Alison DeLuca said...

This is such a wonderful column! Would you like to borrow my new bracelet, which turns my wrist green? She gets mad when I take it off before I shower, and she doesn't understand that it will last longer that way.

There's nothing more precious than that box of love.

Jenny S. Morris said...

Oh so sweet but I would draw that line as well. Kids are so funny. My sons haven't made me jewelry yet. It's usually pictures to hang on the wall.

julie fedderson said...

I think that is just about the sweetest thing I've ever seen. I hope I get a love box from my sons someday.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, that is cuter than cute! I can totally see how that is best and worst all at once! Maybe you should ask him if you could keep it next to your bed and just carry a picture of it around with you? I mean you don't want to risk your box of love getting stolen or anything, do you?

Nicole Zoltack said...

Aw, that is so precious I almost got teary-eyed! What a heart he has!