When I was little, me and my siblings used to make wishes on what I guess were dandelion seeds, floating about in the air.
We used to catch them, make a wish and release them. We couldn't tell anyone what our wish was because if we did, it of course would not come true.
We used to call them "wishers". We would race for the "wishers" whenever we saw them floating about. It's one of those quirky childhood things that I passed along to my kids almost inadvertently.
Over the holiday earlier this week, I took my son out for a walk in the sunshine to see who of his neighbourhood friends were available to play. Truth be told, what I really wanted was a nap. But alas, my better half was already sound asleep on the couch (how do men do that??!?), and I just couldn't say no. So, no nap for me. No rest for the wicked.
Thus, off we went in the blazing heat in search of friends and I admit to feeling just a touch put out.
We went down the street, and turned into the little path that leads to many of the friends' houses. He rode ahead of me on his neat little scooter and then stopped. I couldn't see what he was doing.
Then he walked the scooter back a few steps, stretched his closed hand out to me and said "here, Mommy, I have a present for you".
In his hand was a perfect "wisher".
I was overcome with emotion and was so grateful at that moment for such a wonderful kid, that all my petty, jealous nap angst, and all my (albeit minor) feelings of holiday irritation just melted away.
It changed my entire mood. He wanted me to have the wish.
These are the only kind of presents that matter. The present isn't the thing itself, but the gift of having a child at all, and then a child that can present something so pure, but in such a nonchalant way, without having any idea of how wonderful the gesture is. It's one of the things about parenthood that is very hard, or just impossible to explain to those without children. It's the feeling of having an absolutely full heart, a feeling of gratitude so deep that makes you so happy you feel yourself about to cry.
One beautiful child and a forever memory.