I noticed early the morning before Christmas Eve how big my little guys were getting and marveled that it almost was Christmas; the days seem like they've rushed by since the baby's birth. Both the the two year old and the little guy have grown so much that my mommy heart has been a little weepy lately knowing that they'll never be this little again.
Mostly, I think what did me in and turned me into super-sentimental mommy, though, was when the two year old excitedly brought me a little bag to open that morning. He just could not wait one more day for me to open my present. He was beyond excited to give me my gift, so I indulged him and opened the cute little bag. He beamed when I pulled out the hand-painted wooden ornament he decorated for me while I was at a Mothers of Preschoolers meeting and he was in his classroom. I loved it, and mostly, I loved how excited he was to give me my gift. He was so proud of that ornament, and he was overjoyed to give it to me. I treasured his desire to please me in my mommy heart while silently praying that as he grew older he would still care for me that much.
Later that morning my mom arrived to venture out for our last-minute present buying. I wore my baby snuggled close to me as we shopped, really savoring this year because I knew the following year the baby would be a toddler who would rather be zipping around the stores via stroller with grandma than cuddled against my chest. We stood in long line at the last store making our last purchase together when I overheard two teenage boys talking. They were probably about 15 and 17 years old. Both wore skinny jeans with tight t shirts and sported long hair that fell over their eyes -- hipsters to the core and obviously concerned about appearances. The older of the two boys was clutching a pretty cranberry-colored shirt and looking it over.
"I think mom will like this," he said nonchalantly.
His brother agreed.
"Yeah," the younger one said. "It's a nice style."
"But we don't really know what moms like to wear for sure," the older one said quietly, trying to appear casual about the discussion.
"Yeah," the younger one said.
They then started talking about school and movies. And then the conversation turned again.
"But we know what our mom likes," the younger one pointed out.
As the line inched forward the boys again started talking about other things. But right before we were next for a cashier, they had one more conversation about the present for mom.
"I think she'll like this," the older brother said.
"Yeah, the color is pretty nice," his younger brother agreed. "It's not totally gross or anything."
"It will look nice on her," the older brother said.
"She'll really like it."
As I left the boys behind me in line and paid for my purchases, their conversation stuck with me. The boys, though teenagers who probably don't show mom all that much attention anymore and more than likely don't cuddle her often, really wanted to give their mom something she would love -- more than likely because they really loved her and wanted help show their love with a nice gift. Their mom probably opened her gift this morning and liked the shirt; it was a nice shirt, after all. But, oh, how I wish I could have packaged the conversation her boys had about her present while they were in the check-out line. I hope when she opened her present that she somehow see that the present was more than a shirt -- that it wasn't picked out easily and it was purchased with love and concern. I hope she could see the pride and love in their eyes as they gave her a gift they worked how to find because we all know that boys don't always let their emotions flow ... especially really cool teenage hipsters.
And I hope I remember these boys when I'm opening presents in years to come from two really cool teenage boys and find a shirt because I know Christmases where my boys are outwardly excited to show me love through their gifts are limited.
Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!