Tears rolled down my seven-year-old daughter’s cheeks. I looked up from wrapping the toy to beg, “Tammie, please don’t cry. I know you want this toy for yourself, but yesterday when we bought your friend’s birthday present, you knew it wasn’t for you. Besides, you have several of your own Pretty Pony toys in the toy box.”
A sob caught in Tammie’s throat as she complained, “But, none of mine glow in the dark like this one does.”
Fastening tape to the pink wrapping paper to hold it in place, I thoughtfully enthused, “This gift is a very, very special gift. It probably will be the best present your friend will get for her birthday this year. Do you know why?”
My little daughter stopped crying and looked at me in surprise to ask, “Why?”
“Because the very best gift you can ever give is the one you love and really, really want for yourself. This is especially true when you give the gift without letting anyone know how badly you want it for yourself.”
Tammie was silent for a few moments before saying, “Okay.”
“You’re such a good little girl.” I complemented my daughter. “I have a feeling Santa’s going to give you a glow-in-the-dark Pretty Ponies this year.”
When I first entered motherhood, I had no idea I needed a class titled, Motherhood Philosophy 101. No one gave me a listing of job skills I would need. My initial concern had been merely to share my faith with the children, to keep them fed, bathed, clothed and obedient.