May 25, 2011

Dearest E,.

When I started this blog I didn't intend for it to turn into Kira shares her testimony three days a week. I am sorry, I am just so happy with the changes in our family right now. On Monday we had a moment that made me very happy.

Bean Dip has been in our life for the last two and one half years. We tried multiple times to be involved before, but finally got court ordered visitation in the fall of 2008. The first Christmas we had with Bean Dip we quickly learned that he was unimpressed with homemade presents, hating clothing as gifts and in general completely ungrateful. At our house presents at birthdays and Christmas tend to get semi-ridiculous. We combined parties at Grandma's house and usually have 18 or 19 people present and giving presents. In the last couple of years the middle siblings (too old for a gift to be given on their behalf and not old enough for a real job) have started making homemade presents rather then "earning" a gift from the cupboard to give.

Christmas 2008 was a special year. It was the first holiday we spent with Bean Dip and our first unsupervised visit. My parents decided early on in the year that it would be a "homemade" Christmas. Everyone worked really hard to make their own gifts to give. At first he was excited to open the 18 or so presents before him. But as he started opening it became clear what he thought of our homemade Christmas. Soon presents people had spent hours on were being added to his trash pile without concern. Then I gave him the presents from Dad and me.

We knew that his mom was struggling to afford clothing and because of my super-deal powers we had been able to buy him enough new clothes to take an entire wardrobe to his house and fill a dresser (from Santa) here with things. He was furious. Clothes are presents! Santa doesn't bring dressers! You are just supposed to give those to me because I am a kid." (I guess he hadn't realized that his new dresser was five times nicer than the used one that Taco's clothes were in.) The Santa gifts that were approved he wanted to take to his mom's house. We tried to reason with him, "What will you play with here?" But in the end I caved and allowed several toys to journey to his mom's along with the books that Santa had brought just for him.

The next Tuesday the pile of Santa books was in his backpack. "My mom says I don't have to read these so you can have them back. She bought me a bunch of video games instead." Talk about an ungrateful six-year-old. We knew our work was cut out for us and we needed to teach Bean Dip about gratitude and how to appreciate all types of gifts.

Bean Dip's birthday was this week. Grandma knew that last fall we had ordered glasses for Bean-Dip and had been unable to finish paying them off so he could get his new glasses. She decided that they would pay the balance as his "big" present and only give him a few little things. (Bean Dip was wearing his glasses we got back in 2008. He had broken all of his newer frames. This year his mom got him a pair with her tax return and he broke them after two weeks.) Glasses were a major need. But we were nervous. Everyone had seen how he reacted to non-toy presents and in a way this was a major test to even decide if it was worth gathering everyone for his birthday next year.

The rest of the kids worked hard making their own presents. One especially creative aunt took it upon herself to make him a very personal present. Bean Dip has been told a million times how much he looks like Harry Potter. At first he hated being compared to Harry Potter. This year he finally read the series (he likes reading now) and decided being called Harry Potter was cool. Knowing he had just finished reading it, Prima Donna crafted a wand and a book of spells so he could pretend to be Harry. (The wand was made out of a stick with ribbon and to age the spell book she rubbed the paper with sand to distress it. It was very authentic looking.) I eyed her gift nervously. I wasn't sure what he would think.

He open it early on. He smiled and waved it around and giggled a bit. I tucked it into the safety of my purse and held my breath as Taco brought the glasses case for him to open.
He shook it.
"Don't! It's breakable."
He looked at me curiously and began to peel off the paper. My brother, Sport, who is one year younger than Bean Dip came up behind him.
"What the...?" Sport questioned, "Mom, why did you wrap my glasses case!"
Bean Dip started tearing a little faster. Soon the blue PEZ case was out of the paper. He had Sport show him how to open it.
"NEW GLASSES!" he yelled as he took off the old ones and put them on. "Are these the ones I picked out a long time ago?"
"Yes." I looked at Grandma. I wanted to be sure she noticed the grin that was nearly too big for his face as I breathed a sigh of relief.

It was the best reaction we got all night, although he was almost as excited for the Legos. When all the presents were opened he issued a general "thank you" to everyone and trailed after Grandma who was heading into the kitchen for the finishing touches on the cake. "Thanks for the glasses," he said before dashing off to the trampoline.

Later that night as we were dropping him off with his mom the first thing he said was, "I got new glasses!" She admired them while I explained where to take him to get them adjusted. Then he asked for Prima Donna's present. He showed his mom the wand and spellbook while I unloaded the presents. For once he was excited showing her something homemade. I got into the car with a big grin on my face. Bean Dip has sure come far since that first Christmas.

With Love,


Sara Hammond said...

I don't see it as a testimony, but I am glad you do. That says a lot about what you believe the source of the goodness is. I am so glad to see the good things happening in your family and I am glad you started this blog. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Primma Dona said...

I'm crying right now!! I am so happy he liked my present I remember when he was ungrateful too. That spell book took me hours! I was so worried he wouldn't like it. I'm so glad it was 2nd favorite present!

Alex said...

That's a great story. I love how he didn't take something like glasses for granted. That's cool. : ]