She asked if she could open her presents early.
It was the night before Miss Moon's 6th birthday and she couldn't stand looking at those beautifully wrapped presents any longer. They had been sitting in the living room for about three weeks, all wrapped in their birthday love.
As I smiled and agreed to let her open them, I counted the gifts. Six. Three books and three new dresses. Then that mommy guilt that hasn't been around for a while, poked it's head around the corner.
Did I get her enough for her birthday?
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I had strategically decided to purchase a few extras that I could use as birthday gifts. Really good thinking on my part. I was ahead of the game and didn't have to worry about the after-Christmas crowds.
When the school Book Fair came to town, I had bought three books that totaled less than $10. And the three dresses, I picked up on the clearance rack. I figured I could pick up a toy or something else to go with them later on. But I never did.
I had basically forgotten about the gifts that I had wrapped in birthday paper three weeks ago with all the Christmas presents. I had placed the six gifts under the Christmas tree and they got shoved and shifted around in the Christmas hustle.
In the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmas; the school Christmas programs, family get-togethers, and last minute trips to pick up stocking stuffers, I had forgotten to get her a toy for her birthday.
I instantly questioned my gifts. Not one single toy. Was that enough? How could I have forgotten to get at least one toy?
As she ran to pick up the six gifts, she giggled with glee at the sight of the sparkly Tinkerbell paper I had wrapped the books in. She sat in the middle of the living room floor with all of us sitting around her.
She squealed as she opened the three books. Proudly asserting that she could read two of the books all by herself! The third was an informational book about Horses and Ponies (her favorite animal) and she asked her brother if he could help her read that one. He nodded in agreement and smiled at me.
As she tore into the dresses that were wrapped in birthday balloon paper, I felt dread that she would be disappointed in my lack of getting her a toy. Ripping through the paper and flinging the box to the side, she pulled the first dress from the box as if it were a gown for the Royal ball.
She quickly stood up and held the shimmery dress up to her chest and twirled around. She smiled excitedly and gushed about how much she loved it.
I felt better but still dreaded that she still had two gifts to go and there wasn't one toy in there. She's only six years old and I didn't get her one single toy.
She tore through the other two boxes quickly and with each one she repeated the routine of holding the dresses to her chest and twirling around, professing her love for her new clothes. Now that all the gifts were open, I worried that her realization that she only got three books and three clearance rack dresses would sink in.
Instead, she sprang from her spot in the middle of the living room floor and threw her arms around her brother, shouting "Thank you, Ivan! I love all my presents!"
She then turned to her Daddy and wrapped her little arms around him and said "Thank you, Daddy. I love everything!"
To that he replied, "Well, you should really thank your Mommy, she's the one that picked everything out!"
With that, she turned to me and squeezed me tight around my neck and whispered, "Thanks Mommy, this is the best birthday ever!"
My eyes got watery and I fought back a choke in my throat. While I was fretting about whether I had bought her enough gifts for her birthday and questioned and doubted myself, she was thankful and gracious for the gifts that she received.
As a mother, I question my actions and always wonder if I am doing enough, giving enough, teaching enough. While, I doubted myself and worried too much, she let me know that not only were the six gifts enough but that I was enough.
Sometimes, I just need to remind myself that I am enough. I do enough. I give enough. I teach enough. And that is enough for them.
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