It almost breaks my heart it’s so ernest.
Isaac picked out her birthday present all by himself—a playdough cookie maker. As soon as he saw her, Isaac grabbed the gift bag, bypassed the table where everyone else left their presents, and ran to her. “It’s a present for YOU! You want to open it?”
She pulled out the tissue paper and examined it politely. Isaac pulled the playdough thing out and presented it for her inspection.
She was perfect. She exclaimed, delighted. She showed her friends and family: “look what Isaac got me!” Together, they pored over the pictures on the box like no one else was around. They sat side by side and ate birthday cake. They squeezed next to each other on the hay ride.
Another boy looked dejected. His mom asked what was wrong and he pointed to the birthday girl with Isaac. She told him to go sit with them, but he shook his head and pointed at Isaac.
Isaac’s joy and expectation were just right there on the surface, pure and unfiltered. She could not have responded (to him!) better.
But it made me dread the day a girl reacts less than perfectly to his presentation of affection. And it made me wish I were a better gift recipient.
One Easter Chris and I exchanged Easter baskets. “What’s…this…?” I pulled a sharp plastic cylinder with a handle out of my basket.
“It’s a pineapple slicer.”
“Why is it in my Easter basket…?”
“Because you always make that pineapple chicken thing.”
“But you usually slice the pineapple so you just offloaded your job to me.”
“Ok well it was either that or a potato masher. They were next to each other on the shelf.”
Six months later I got a potato masher for my birthday. Chris was so pleased with himself. And when that broke a few years later, Chris got excited. “Don’t worry! I know just what to get you for Christmas now!” And indeed I got a new one in my stocking.
So even if I end up with a bunch of stuff from the ship’s mini mart in my stocking this Christmas, I promise to try my best to react like Isaac’s girlfriend.
And Chris, you take take a page out of your son’s book—he keeps bringing me flowers, weeds and leaves, saying, “Here Mom. I got you this a cuz I love you. You like it? I got it for you.”