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
It's just for you from me
Whenever you are lonely
you're feeling blue
You only have to hold this
gift and know I think of
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.
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.