When your kid approaches you with his hands behind his back and a grin across his face, you never really know what to expect.
Our youngest son Jase slowly inched his way up to me as I was cutting up some vegetables for supper. His little face was splattered with mud from playing outside, and he was trying his hardest to keep it a secret whatever it was that he held behind his back.
“Momma,” he said, grinning from ear to ear. “I got something for you.”
And it was…a weed. Yes, a long stem of a weed with a small white flower on the end.
It may have been a weed, but it was beautiful as Jase held it up to my face with such pride.
I hugged him, thanking him for his gift.
“Let’s put it in water and put it in the window so you can look at it,” he said.
And that is just what I did. Filling an old, glass Coke bottle up with the water, the weed found its new home in our kitchen window. It remained there until it began to droop. But I always grinned every time I looked up and saw my “gift.”
Jase’s simple gift reminded me of how the small things truly matter. And it warmed my heart to know that in the midst of playing outside, Jase didn’t see a weed. He saw a pretty flower that was perfect for his Momma.
Yes, it was a simple gift. But it was so much more.
Time and the “little things” with my kids is far more important than money and material things.
Like most mothers, I am exhausted by the time I get home from work. After cooking supper or cleaning the house…all I want to do is get in my pajamas and fall into my recliner.
But after Jase’s small gift, I am inspired to try harder to notice the small things that sometimes go unnoticed. Those small things can actually be the greatest symbols of love.
It can be easy when, as tired parents, we promise a toy, video game or some other type of reward to keep our children behaved and maybe out of our hair for a few minutes.
But that beautiful weed reminded me that it is not the expensive toys or lavish purchases that make the best memories. It is that small flower handed to you from a muddy hand. It is that scribbled note that says “I love you.” It’s that tight hug for absolutely no reason. And it’s the request to sit in your lap, regardless of how big they are getting.
Sure, I have a demanding job that needs to get done. But I would like to start leaving my work at the office and not let it sink into my home through emails and constant stress. When I arrive in the door of my home, I should be there mentally and physically for my children.
Working long hours can bring a feeling of financial security. And granted, let’s not deny that the money is needed to survive. But I should be willing to sacrifice those material items.
The best thing I can provide to my kids is not the latest video game or Lego set. The best thing I can give them is my time and love.
So, instead of shoving a new toy in Jase’s arms, next time I should take the time to wander outside with him. Pick a few flowers or stop and look up at the clouds.
There are plenty of weeds out there that need a bottle of water. And there are plenty of memories that are left to be made.