The Little Things
The mornings are a flurry of craziness, usually. I’m up very early, most mornings, and do my little run/walk as part of the routine. This is just part and parcel of my days any more. Like most people I ate too much over the holidays, that coming back to add to – not bite me in the – behind. That’s fine, I anticipated it. Health, I’ve told the kids and put here, is a long haul. I’m able to eat a cookie or a treat here and there I just don’t eat a pan full of cookies.
After that I put breakfast on the table for the boys, eat a piece of toast and drink a cup of coffee while I cool down and either talk to them, or – if the conversation’s all about Pokemon Ruby Sapphire – read the latest Time I have stacked on my end table.
This leads to getting ready for work, packing my own lunch, then heading out the door. My middle has an early class this semester so the routine gets even crazier.
This morning, though, I reached in my pocket for my phone and found a Ziplock bag with a cookie in it. A chocolate crinkle, to be precise. My son, seeing that I hadn’t eaten any of them the night before because I gave the three of them the remainder on the pan . . . put it in a bag and gave it to me.
My kids are thoughtful little tykes. My oldest, away at college, needed some stuff she’d left behind after Christmas and I sent it off. I added to it, though, some goodies and little things from me. I got a text message saying “I was having an awful day…this made today so much better!” I guess I have to assume that’s where they get the ideas.
That same daughter did something similar. Years ago, when I had to go to Israel on a work trip my wife (who passed away a few years ago) was thoroughly worried. They had just announced a cease-fire between Israel and HAMAS and she didn’t think it would hold. When I got to Tel Aviv and opened my suitcase I found inside a drawing of a smiling little girl…and a note saying “I love you, Daddy, and already miss you!” It made my day.
Years later, again having to go overseas for work – this time to Germany then Afghanistan…I got stuffed animals and a note from my boys asking me to take their friends to cool places for them. I instead took photos with the stuffed animals.
So today, when I was in a hurry, scrambling, running behind like many mornings, I found the cookie there in my pocket. I hadn’t complained or made a big deal about not having a cookie. In fact, I often make sure they get a small treat after dinner, as long as they eat their dinner.
I tell my kids to be thoughtful . . . of others, but particularly each other. It became abundantly clear in 2011 when their Mom passed away that it’s important to be there for each other. That being the case, you should be just as thoughtful to the sister you just hit upside the head as you are to the stranger on the street. I tell them to listen and think about gifts for their siblings and grandparents and aunts that would mean something…not just what they see in a catalog someplace. If someone you know doesn’t like the thoughtful gift then maybe it’s time to do some hard thinking about who is in your circle of “real” friends.
So today it will be a cookie and I’ll eat it gladly. For a little kid to make the sacrifice of a treat . . . that’s a big deal.
Little did he know . . . I made some more of them after he went to bed. Now I have two of them in my lunch.
I won’t tell him, though.