Thank-you Heavenly Father for my family. And especially for my Donna LouElla, who turns six today.
Tonight at Donna's birthday "party" our kids did the typical routine of digging out all kinds of their own things to give to the birthday person. This used to drive me nuts, but I see all the joy they give each other, and so I've come to enjoy watching them open the usually immense haul.
So what if Stella gave two pairs of worn out shoes? "Shoes? Stella, why did you give me your old shoes? And broken flip-flops? Stella!"
So what if Stella also gave Donna the fox fur that Sophie gave Stella, when Sophie cleaned her room and didn't like that pieces of it were crumbling all over the place? "Fur? What will I do with that?"
Does it really matter that Stella also gave Donna the big Teddy Bear that used to be hers. But that was before she had given it to John at Christmas. Oops, forgot about that, I guess. John didn't care, though, so I guess it's all good.
What about Inge who just goes through the house picking up whatever fits in the bag? Regardless of it's rightful owner.
Clara and Sophie purchased their offerings at the Dollar Store this year. I suppose that's a step up. They have a little money burning a hole in their pockets, you know. Donna is excited to try her sidewalk chalk and she likes her star shaped sun glasses. "Do you know who Lady Gaga is, Mom? She always wears things like this."
I laugh at the kids, but I'm not much better. I picked up one dollar store item, and one new little thing from the Wal-Mart toy aisle. (That one just about kills me, since the new stuff is such junk these days. I just know all these little Polly Pocket outfits will be torn apart in a few weeks. Or Polly's head with be cracked and no longer stay on. I feel like I ought to get the kids something "real", as in something new, just for them. It's usually nothing much. But it's so hard to part with our money when the toys are so cheaply made.)
Oh, and I also pulled my usual stunt of forgetting to wrap one of the gifts. I had found a little skirt on clearance a month or so ago and tucked it up in my closet. So that ended up wrapped in a bandana.
Some of the kids' gifts are usually wrapped in newspaper, others in reused gift bags. Some are wrapped in tissue paper, or other paper they find around the house. Coloring book pictures, or drawings. The kids make little cards to put on all their things. Some put a separate card on each item, and the messages are very sweet. "To someone I love, From Inge." or little hearts and flowers. or a "portrait" of the birthday child.
I love to see the thoughtfulness and generosity these little tokens show.
The crowning moment tonight, though, came when Donna was reading one of Sophie's cards. She was looking at all the little drawings and sounding out the words.
Then suddenly she said, "A top lip?" We all kind of looked at each other. We weren't sure we heard her right.
Sophie came closer to see what Donna meant, as Donna repeated the question, "Why did you make me a top lip?" We all laughed while we waited for Sophie to interpret the apparent misunderstanding.
"It's a heart, Silly!"
For some reason that just tickled me. What on earth would someone draw a top lip for? To represent half a kiss? Sophie and I really got the giggles talking about the various possibilities of what this strange and new symbol might mean in a greeting card.
Later when Donna asked Stella, "Why did you draw a flower and a heart?" I couldn't resist answering, "I guess she couldn't figure out how to make a top lip."