Tuesday, November 29, 2011

God bless us, everyone

I started this blog because we have the cutest kids ever and I wanted to share their pictures with our family (a couple of hours away) in a way that’s less obtrusive than constantly sending out mass email messages. Five hundred thirty-three posts later, it’s also become sort of an ongoing record of Jack and Landon growing up ... that maybe they’ll like looking back at someday.

That’s where this fits in.

# # #

Jackson and I went to the local branch of the public library last night for a free program called “The Night Before Christmas Carol.” Set in 1843, one actor played Charles Dickens — and 17 other Christmas Carol characters! — on the night he dreams up his redemptive Christmas story. The one-man show was a humorous and historical look into the author’s struggles and inspiration behind the world-famous book.

It was about 70 minutes long. The place was packed. And as restless and distracted as Jack gets, he did great. He even sat on my lap for a bit.

By the end, though, he was really anxious to get up and go look for books. We browsed for about 10 or 15 minutes, but it was gettin’ late and a school night, so we finally checked out (chapter books and “graphic novels” for him, and some Christmas CDs for me). I always cherish one-on-one time with Jack; it kind of reminded me of when I was unemployed and got to take the boys to the library.

As I went back to our seats and got our coats to leave, the Charles Dickens actor himself walked right up to me. He had stepped away from the little cookies-and-punch reception and opened his hand to reveal a wrinkled dollar bill. “I want to let you know that your son gave this to me."

I had no idea. I was shocked.

He continued, “I was so touched, that I’d like you to take it and give it back to him — anonymously — on Christmas morning.”

I didn’t know what to say, I was speechless. But I refused, saying that if Jack wanted him to have it, than it was meant for him. I explained how he gets a small allowance that’s divided into fourths (for saving, spending, taxes and giving) and this must be how he wanted to share some with others. To show his thanks and appreciation. In his own special way.

Finally, I shook the man’s hand and he wished us a good night. “Merry Christmas” I said, as Jack and I turned to head home, “and thank you.”

# # #

Jack had done that entirely on his own. He didn’t say anything about it to me, and I didn’t say anything about it to him.

We wonder so much about our kids: how they behave; how they’re gonna grow up; how they act when we’re not around ... how they act when we are around.

So it’s pretty overwhelming to see, firsthand, Jack actually living out an example of selflessness and gratitude. I thank God for him to be learning these important values, when it often seems we usually battle over mundane things like putting away his toys and getting ready for bed.

But maybe some of it's sinking in, after all.

# # #

Wow. I might have just had the highlight of my Christmas season.

And it’s not even December yet.


“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
~Ebenezer Scrooge



Anonymous said...


As I'm sure you can imagine, I have been consumed with sadness, tears and a heavy heart over the last week and this story of Jack's giving is just what I needed! Of course more tears were involved.....but the good kind! You have a beautiful family....both inside and out!

Dad would be so proud!


Neil said...

Thanks, sis. If I could "favorite" your comment I would.

refrigerated trailers said...

A great treat. Thanks for sharing.