Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Too much of everything
A few days ago I tried to get my fill of the five grandchildren who live in Chattanooga. It didn’t happen. I mean, I didn’t get enough. Minnesota is just too far away.
Mason turns six next week so I asked him what he’d like for his birthday. He’s a little taller than his older twin brothers, has a raspy husky voice and is extremely suspicious of green food, but he has a sweetness about him that sometimes makes him almost vulnerable. Makes you want to take him in your arms and shelter him from Evil. I figured he’d probably want some sort of computer game, a fast bike, something big and costly that grandkids think their grandparents are good for. I was wrong. He wanted a stuffed shark that he could sleep with and a jump rope. He demonstrated how he could jump forward and backward – one awkward hop at a time. Later that day we were at Old Navy strolling his little sister and him around as Manessah looked for blue jeans. Him mom plopped a hat on his head that he wore until we checked out and he looked so longingly at it and asked if only he could have it and she said no, not today. But I saw it, and I knew it should be part of his birthday present.
Next day Denis and I found a soft, vicious-looking shark with a jaw full of tender teeth. Though I didn’t find a jump rope, we gave the rest to him as an early birthday present.
The gift of watching him open them with shrieks of joy and genuine surprise made me want to cry with delight myself. Too often, I’m bored, worn and world-weary. Sometimes I have too much of everything and it is the role of suffering or deprivation that makes gifts of ordinary life come alive again when they arrive on my doorstep.