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Generous Heart

I try not to brag. And when I do, I try to balance out my bragging about Simon with an acknowledgement of a weakness. No one likes the obnoxious, bragging parent, and no kid is perfect.

Having said that, tonight I’m going to brag. I’ve got the sweetest kid I could imagine having—a kid for whom I am supremely grateful and by whom I am sometimes humbled. Tonight’s gushing centers around Simon’s little house, which as of today became Ruby’s little house.

We got the house for Simon for his second birthday, and for two and a half years he loved it and played in it every chance he got. This spring, his interest began to wane, and once our new play set went up, he was finished with it. But the girls weren’t. Caroline still loves it, and Ruby still loves it perhaps most of all. The last few times we had Ruby over, she would swing for a few minutes and then head straight to that little house. Her dad’s new house doesn’t have the right space for a play set like ours, but it could accommodate a play house.

So one day, when Greg came over to pick up Ruby, I started to free associate. “Simon doesn’t play in his house any more,” I mused. “If that keeps up for a few more weeks, you can have his house.” No sooner were the words out of my mouth than I began to regret them. What if Simon changed his mind? What if this were just a phase? That play house was expensive, a gift my Dad went in on with me and Matt. I couldn’t believe I had just tentatively offered it up with so little thought.

And that’s the thing about me: I’m quick to be generous, and then quick to second guess. I am more acquisitive and possessive than I’d like to be, and I often talk before I think things fully through.

Yesterday Greg asked us about the house. And I honestly didn’t know what to say; it’s rained non-stop for two weeks so we’ve hardly been outside. That’s when Matt had the idea to ask Simon directly. Nothing can enflame the passion of a little kid for an old toy quite like the threat of its going away.

“Simon, would you like to give your house to Ruby?” he asked.

“Let me think about that,” was Simon’s reply. Then, a beat later, he continued: “Ruby really loves that house. I think she should have it.”

When I brought it up again today, testing the waters a bit, I referred to it as “your little house.” Simon corrected me. “It’s not my little house any more. It’s Ruby’s house now.”

I’m going to have to remember this the next time Simon sees another kid’s toy and asks me for one just like it, or falls in love with every toy he sees on TV. Because while I always love Simon and know his heart to be generous, this weekend he frankly surprised me. I just didn’t think he, or any four-year-old, had it in him. It was a moment that makes me feel like I won the parenthood lottery.

One Response to “Generous Heart”

  1. Amanda says:

    Go ahead and brag. That’s quite a little guy you got there.

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