When I came downstairs on Mother’s Day morning I found my son working at the table on a present for me. He gave me instructions not to look at his paper until he was done.
A little while later at brunch he said, “Hey, Mom, I left a paper in your purse – can you get it for me?”
Ellie was sitting next to me, and my purse was on the other side of her, so I strained over and rifled through quickly, but after a few seconds said, “I don’t see it. Sorry, bud.”
Jeremiah said, “But, Mom. I left it in there. Can you look again?”
Sort of exasperated I again reached over Ellie and gave it another quick look. “Nope. Nothing. Did you put it somewhere weird?? Jeremiah, it’s kind of hard for me to look around with your sister here. Can you just get up and get it?”
Jeremy widened his eyes. Through clenched teeth he sang, “It’s your preeesennnt…”
So I looked again. I found it folded up in a pocket. When I took it out, I was stunned by my boy.
Jeremiah draws very well. Anime and cartoons are more his thing, but because he always asks me, “Mom, what should I draw?” And I always answer, “I don’t know, because I like flowers, but I’m sure you want to draw dinosaurs or something, right?” he drew me a flower. But that’s not the part that blew me away. As I read, I could tell Jeremiah’s words were deep. Like, for an eleven year old, he knew what he was talking about and had a gift for articulating himself in ways outside of convention. The words he choose to highlight and how he called attention to each individual thing and then encompassed them “all” at the end with the exact number of petals he had drawn.
It caught me off guard.
“Wow,” I said. “Buddy, this is an amazing poem.”
He gave me a confused look, “It’s a poem?”
“Well, it strikes me as a poem. Did you not mean to write it like one?”
“Not really,” he said. “I just wrote down my message.”
And my heart, wildly proud of my boy’s talent, swelled as I thought about how he hadn’t EVEN TRIED to write a poem, but just naturally communicated that way. My gracious.
“This is an amazing gift, love. Thank you.” I said to him.
He smiled satisfactorily and then said something funny. My son. He’s not particularly prideful. He’s also not a show off or full of himself. He genuinely just speaks the very truth of what he sees, which usually puts him smack dab in the middle with everyone else in the world. But sometimes, the very truth of what he sees elevates him above the others just a little bit.
He said very, very rationally and matter of factly, “Well, I gave Dad, like, the most (eyebrow raise) AMAZING Father’s Day present ever last year, and now I’ve given you a pretty AMAZING Mother’s Day present this year, so…yeah…”
And then he went back to coloring on the paper the restaurant had given him, done with the assessment of his work.
It’s true, he had given Jeremy the most heart felt Father’s Day gift last year and had asked his Papa Gott (Scott) to help him make it. He made a frame out of wood, asked me to print a picture of him and his dad, and then he wrote, the most thoughtful message to his dad. It was extraordinary. The kind of thing that makes you all choked up and look at your kids with wonder like, “Where did THAT come from?”
After Ellie presented me with her card and drawing, she still wanted to give me gifts so she found some scrap cardboard and drew me this little guy.
Then, she drew another one with three people on it. “This one’s a zombie,” she said, “and this is me and you, and I was scared, but you were not.”
Oooook…Happy Mother’s Day?
I laughed pretty hard.
That night before bed, I texted a picture of Jeremiah’s gift to my sister-in-law, her husband and Jeremy’s parents. After the “aww’s” and “wow’s” my sister-in-law wrote back and shared her own bounty.
“This is from the six year old,” she wrote:
“I don’t want you to die”
KIDS ARE THE BEST!