Sometimes I worry about the little treats, the dollar rack gifts that get us through Target without even one little complaint. The pack of truck stickers at Rite Aid just because. Or the candy corn that gets us out the door in a hurry, because you just can’t be late for those doctor appointments.
Am I spoiling them? Do the little treats add up to a big giant mess? Do they know when to say when?
They love to check the mail, these sweet kids of mine. They run to the front door the very minute that the shadow of the mail carrier appears through the beveled glass.
It’s here! It’s here! Let’s check the mail!
Apart from birthdays and holidays, it’s rarely for them. Bills, magazines, and catalogues clutter the box day after day, but rarely do the little ones find their names on the letters.
So, just the other day, it was a huge treat to find a large box addressed to them sitting by the front the door.
Open it, please! Who is it from? What’s in that big box?
Mimi, of course. The frequent sender of the large boxes taped so thoroughly that it takes more than a pair of dull scissors to pry them open.
It looks like it’s from Mimi, my loves. She must be missing you.
They stop and consider this thought, realizing that this is probably true.
I wish Mimi lived here.
I wish we lived at Mimi’s.
We pause for a hug before we get back to the task at hand. Behind us, the sun is quickly making its exit.
Let’s bring this box upstairs to open while I start running the bath, ok?
With squeals and laughter they strip down in seconds and run to the top of the stairs. There’s treasure in that box, they’re sure of it.
The box barely hits the floor before they tear into it, each reaching for the package with their name on the front. For a moment, I consider the potential mistake: Is there candy in there? Should I have checked the contents prior to this?
While my sweet girl oohs and ahhs over two new Halloween outfits, sweet baby boy admires a new shirt with a car on the front. Together they open the shared package…
Press the button! Press the button!
A singing and dancing ghost with a pet black cat comes to life. They shriek, in unison, before pressing that button ten more times.
Good old Mimi, I think to myself, keeping the Hallmark store in business.
As the sky turns to black I start the bedtime routine. There are jobs to do and baths to take. But before I can utter a word, I notice a glaring silence.
I turn in slow motion to find them sitting back to back, each holding a Halloween card and smiling from ear to ear.
Sweet baby boy is the first to speak.
Look what Mimi really sent me, Mommy. She sent me this nice card. I better put it in my room.
With that, he runs to his room to clear space on his dresser and displays his card for all to see.
Can you read it to me, Mommy?
The soft voice from below belongs to my sweet girl, looking up at me with giant mocha eyes and a smile that would take your breath away.
Of course, sweet girl. Of course.
She listens carefully as I read the card aloud.
I really love my presents, but I really love my card the best. I want to put mine in my room too.
And just like that, she heads down the hall to find the perfect place for her card.
A calm washes over me as pride fills my heart. There is no spoiling in this house. The little things are just that: Little things. But, at the end of the day, the big things, like love, family, and happiness are what matter most to these sweet kids of mine.
The gifts always bring smiles and laughter…but the love letters from afar warm their little hearts.
And that…is all that matters.