Saturday, December 26, 2009

Greatest Gift

The presents are all opened, the turkey deboned, and the thrill of Christmas still barely lingers in the air. Today marks the longest wait until the next Christmas morning. That reality can be depressing, but I'm still smiling from receiving the greatest gift.

Yesterday was marked with the usual flurry over packages and who got what. That was shortly followed by scuffles like: "I want to play with his toy!" "No way, buster, mine!" and "Mom, he's got my toy; give it back--smack!" Ahh, yes, the joys of Christmas.

However, my greatest gift came before a single present was opened. It was even before any feet had hit the ground or the sun rose in the sky. At 6:15am Bob and I awoke to sweet voices in the next room where our sons Bobby (6) and Devin (3) had been sleeping. If I hadn't heard it with my own ears, I might have doubted it happened.

In his angelic Charlie Brown voice, Bobby began: "Hey, Devin, you know what today is?" D: "What?" B: "It's Christmas, the day we celebrate Jesus' birth." D: "Uh-huh." B: "Jesus is the King of Kings." Silence. "He's our Savior." Silence. "He came to save us from our sins." Silence. "And today is his birthday; that's what Christmas is all about." D: "Ok."

No mention of Santa or the packages awaiting them upstairs. My heart was bursting with pride. It was true unprompted sharing of knowledge, from big brother to little brother. It's the most I've ever heard Bobby say about religion. As a parent, we try to teach our kids what we think they should know but often times we're met with blank or disinterested looks. I often wonder what really sinks in. Every once in awhile we get those moments we want to freeze and replay again and again.

When I asked Bobby about this incident later in the day, he wouldn't respond and ran away. It was as if that was a private moment between siblings, and I had no right to poke my nose in it. I suppose that's how it goes as they get older. Bobby doesn't know it now, but that 30 second conversation was the greatest gift I received this Christmas. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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