Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sweetest Gift

'Tis the season of gift giving!  Gift choosing, buying, wrapping, distributing, returning.........

But last week, I received one of the most precious gifts I've ever been given.  This gift involved absolutely no money, no stress, no fretting, no wrapping.  In fact, it was an accidental gift, really.

Joy needed a little help during nap time with her tribe.  A good mommy haircut does NOT happen with toddlers running around the beautician's chair.  Noni gladly accepted the opportunity to sit with them.  (Also a great time to fold a couple of the huge mountains of laundry found in every home with pre-schoolers.)

Zachariah went to sleep pretty quickly.  Abby made one extra trip to the potty and finally dozed off. But Spencer is 5 1/2 now.  He's aware that sometimes you can wait quietly and patiently and the clock will run out.  

When asked if I could let him get up, Joy answered emphatically,  "No!  He has to stay in his bed and rest even if he doesn't fall asleep.  He'll be too cranky tonight if he doesn't rest."  Okay, Okay.  I couldn't remember ever seeing one of my grandchildren cranky but following parental instructions is important.

I tiptoed into his darkened room and found Spencer (all boy) trying to stand on his head; bottom in the air; face obscured by the blanket.  Composing oneself before correcting a child is also important so I hesitated, not wanting to laugh.  Just then Spencer looked up, shocked to see me standing there and quickly melted back onto the mattress.

"Hi Noni," he whispered.

"Hi Buddy, mom says you have to stay in bed until 4."

"Is that a long time?"  His huge, round eyes are the most incredible shade of blue.

"Yes, I'm afraid it's another hour."  Our voices were barely perceptible.  He looked crestfallen but resolved.  He knew Mommy meant business.

An idea hit me, "Spencer, would you like for Noni to lay down with you?"  He nodded eagerly and began moving to the far edge of his bed to make room.

There's a reason they make cute little race car beds for children only.  It's because they're nearly impossible to climb into once you've passed 30.  It won't be hard for you to picture the gymnastics required for a 58 year old woman to scale the bright blue wooden side of said race car then plop onto the too small mattress all the while trying hard to NOT squish your grandchild!

Yes, I was out of breath by the time I'd situated myself next to Spencer.  Our heads squeezed together near the engine and my feet drooping over the trunk.  I closed my eyes and whispered a word of gratitude.

Then the magic happened.......

The precious boy I've loved since before he was born snuggled up close with his head laying on my outstretched arm.

"Noni, I had a great lunch today." His voice was incredibly quiet.  I strained to catch each word.

"Really.  What did you eat?"  I too whispered softly.

"Double mac 'n cheese with apple juice."  He reported this with a sound nearing reverence.

"Oh, yum.  That sounds delicious."  His head bobbed up and down a couple times in agreement.

I reached to smooth the blond hair.  Our whole family is about music and rhythm so I softly patted his head with a distinct pattern that seemed to quiet him.  In less than 60 seconds, he was breathing the slow, mechanical, tiny puff breaths that signal sleep.

His entire body relaxed against me and big tears formed in my eyes.  I knew I was in the middle of a magical moment.  My mind raced to drink it in fully and to record every detail.

Just how often does a grandmother get to climb into a race car bed and snuggle the object of their affection?  Not nearly often enough.

I laid there perfectly still; not wanting to disrupt the angel beside me.  I prayed over him, asking God to fill his room (along with Abby and Zach's) with guardian angels.  I rehearsed the sound of his little voice, the sweetness of his breathing, the smells of his outdoor play and the comfort of his nearness.

And in that moment, I knew I must surely be the wealthiest woman on earth!  What a Gift!

Joyous Noel!

What magical gift-giving have you experienced?  Our other readers would enjoy reading your story as well.  Please share it in the comment box below.



  1. My moment occurred with your OTHER grandson. Last night Noah sat perfectly quiet on my lap and let me rub his back for almost half an hour. Oh the precious bliss.
    And good job getting yourself situated on the race car bed. Proud of you! :)