From several years back; only publishing now
God has wired Natalie to be a cheerful giver. She had asked me for tissue paper and I had seen her collect the scotch-tape from the kitchen drawer, so I knew she was up to something. For about an hour she sat quietly in her room, busily wrapping gifts of some sort. Then she hid it all away and whispered to me “Mama, I made presents for Jacob’s birthday!!” I thought to myself- wow, Jacob’s birthday is three months away! Then Natalie went on with her day and never mentioned anything to her brother.
Fast forward to the evening……we had dinner together as a family and then were sitting in the living room. All of a sudden in marched Natalie with the cheerful red gift bag. Clipped onto it was her written gift tag: “By Natalie To Jacob”. She looked at Jacob with the brightest, most excited eyes ever!! “Jacob, today I’m celebrating an early birthday for you. Here’s a present for you!!!!” Jacob had been sitting on the couch strumming his guitar. He kind of half-looked at her and kept strumming, not really taking notice and/or changing his countenance based on the words he had just heard. I shared with him that his sister was trying to give him a gift, and that he ought to give her his undivided attention at this point. Oh, okay, mama he said. It cracks me up that as a mom I also need to teach values of how to be a thankful, appreciative receiver of gifts. So he put his guitar down on the couch. But, oh, then the purple pick fell in between the couch cushions and that became an impending priority in Jacob’s mind. Natalie waited patiently and cheerfully as she watched Jacob pull up all the couch cushions in search of that guitar pick. Finally he was settled and ready to give her his undivided attention.
Natalie handed him the gift bag. Her chest was puffed up with pride and delight. Her eyes were twinkling with excitement. It was in that moment that I was reminded that God really has wired her to be a cheerful giver. She loooooooves to give gifts. Her heart seeks to give expressions of love to people. And she does it in the ways she knows and she cans. I love it when she makes drawings for people!!! She will grab sheets of white paper and sit at the table purposefully drawing/coloring with someone in mind. When she hands someone a drawing, she is offering them so much of her love and affection. That is how she pours her love for a person into a tangible expression for the person to have and to hold. It’s so precious to me.
Anyway, so Jacob unclipped the gift bag and as he peered inside he said “wow!” There were lots of individually wrapped presents in there, all very carefully wrapped in tissue paper and held together with quite a few pieces of tape. 🙂 She gave him the oh-so-cute craft she had made at music camp this summer- an octopus-like animal made of blue scarves. She announced “oh Jacob sorry that it only has one eye. It used to have two eyes but I lost one of the eyes. Sorry.” “Oh that’s okay Natalie. I like one-eyed monsters.” Awwww!!! My mama heart was melting.
Then he proceeded to open the rest of her gift.