This is James' and my busy week of the year. Sunday was our anniversary (7 years!), today is James' birthday and this Sunday is my birthday. I kind of like that all of our celebrating happens in one week. It makes it easier to celebrate once in a big way, rather than smaller celebrations throughout the year. When the kids are older we plan to vacation for our megaweek. Right now things are less high maintenance. In fact, on Sunday I was sick so James took the kids out of the house so I could sleep, today James is off to work and I have to leave for a dress rehearsal before he gets home, and this Sunday, well, Sundays are always busy days for us. And since tomorrow night is opening night for the musical I'm working on, and we have shows this weekend and next, even these couple of weeks and weekends are write-offs.
But I was able to dart out to the store yesterday with the boys so they could pick out a gift for Dad. I am of the ilk that if they can think of something they want to buy him, then we'll get that. I don't choose something for them to give. I really do believe it's the thought that counts rather than the gift. I try to give a little guidance to them. Here's the conversation I had with Colin:
Mommy: What do you think Dad would like for his birthday?
Colin: Hmmm. I don't know.
Mommy: Well, it helps to think about what he likes to do.
Colin: He likes to go and work in the basement. (James' business office is in our basement). I know! I should buy him a rug for the floor, since there is no carpet there anymore and it is cold on your feet in the basement.
(We had to rip up the carpet after the hot water heater tank leaked).
So off to the store we went to pick out a small rug. Colin wanted to buy a carpet that went wall-to-wall, but that was a little out of our budget. So he chose a soft blue bathmat. Actually, it's perfect. The rubber bottom will resist the dampness of an old basement, and the top part is softer than any other rug we looked at. And it's blue, which is Colin's favourite colour.
I tried to coax Caleb into an idea also, but he didn't come up with anything. I thought he might think about foods, especially breakfast, since he and James have breakfast together every morning together, but no such luck. When I was young my mom asked me what I wanted to get my Dad and I firmly stated "a can of peaches." I think, in that case, it was something I really liked, and so wanted to share with my dad. That is the first step of gift-giving. First you learn that giving a gift means giving something special, and as a kid the things you like yourself are what mean the most. A little later you start to think about the person themselves, their likes and interests. I really try to help the boys understand that giving gifts is not about the item, but about showing that you have given thought about the person, who they are, and what they are interested in. There is nothing like getting that perfect gift, and not because it was showy or expensive, but because you know you nailed it perfectly.