My favorite Christmas gift took me by surprise.
Most years, the kids go in on one present for me and one present for their dad. We parents shepherd them through the process to help them shop, spend our money and select a gift the other parent would want (the failed gift known as " magazine rack" will not be mentioned ever again on this website to protect the recipient as well as the giver). Two years ago, the older kids took over this job and now spend their own money and shop together. Love that! This year our kids gave me the book The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong. Perfect gift.
But there was another gift under the tree for me. Johannah used her own money and her own time to pick out something she thought I'd like. In an American Eagle gift bag, gently wrapped were two treats for my often dried out hands (midwestern heaters do a number on my skin).
The first is sandalwood sugar scrub from the Bath and Body Shop:
She also gave me cucumber melon body wash:
The thing is, I got all smooshy and cried. I'm sure she doesn't know why.
But I do. The teen years are every bit as exciting and wonderful and terrible and scary as the toddler years, only these kids can date and drive.
Yesterday I knew deep down that we're cool with each other, that she and I have a bond. And it was just amazing to see the understanding of giving unfold in one of my children in that specific, generous way. Just like first steps.
It really is the thought that counts.
I love you, Johannah, and thank you for giving to me.