A BIG life lesson from a little Boy
It was a busy, fun-filled time as we prepared for our daughter’s big third birthday. I say “Big” because when you are three, everything is a BIG deal. The party would be starting in a few hours. Little Rachel looked forward to welcoming every balloon, every streamer on the ceiling, every little friend, every laugh, every hug, candle, piece of cake and cupcake with joyful, wide eyes. It had no way of knowing in the moment that it was a day that would change my life.
We should all be three again
In the midst of all the party preparations, I asked my five-year old son, Adam, what he was going to do for his sister on her birthday.
Adam was a real “sports guy.” As usual, he was wearing his signature Chicago Bulls outfit that he only took off about once every five days to wash.
I wanted to make sure his gift was something he had put thought into to show Rachel that she was loved and important to him. We sat on the floor in his room to talk — an excellent father-son teaching moment.
“That’s easy Dad, I’m giving her my Brett Favre Green Bay Packer quarterback football card,” he said quickly with a smile.
He clearly did not understand girls. “Rachel isn’t really interested in football, sports or anything to do with boys,” I explained to Adam as gently as possible. I felt badly that he clearly did not “get it” and was glad to have caught this in time.
Just out of curiosity, I asked him “Why would you even think about giving Rachel a football card?”
Adam Showed Us. . .
“Easy Dad, cuz it’s the very best thing I ever had” he said with a wonderfully happy look on his face.
He explained to me, in five-year-old terms, that that this football card was his most cherished possession. I took a deep breath as tears welled up in my eyes.
I suddenly understood this was, at that moment, his life’s treasure. And he was willingly giving his very best to the sister he loved deeply because that’s what he thought she deserved.
We soon lit the candles and all sang to celebrate Rachel’s special day. It was a magical moment.
Rachel opened her presents and Adam watched gleefully as she unwrapped her “Brett Favre Green Bay Packer Quarterback football card” present that he had wrapped and taped himself. He gave her a quick hug and then just stood quietly by her for a moment.
Sometimes it takes a little boy in a dirty Chicago Bulls uniform to show us what love truly is.
Give your best. Love freely, openly and completely … it’s going to be a really good day.
We should all be five again.
This happened many years ago. “Little Adam & Rachel” pictured above are in college now (wow!) but the lesson and memory are as clear as if it just happened.
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