Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Thank You!

Max got to take a large donation to The Ronald McDonald House yesterday thanks to all of the items our generous guests brought in lieu of gifts to his party last week.  

It's our third year of this tradition, but it's the first year Max struggled with the idea of giving instead of getting.  He understands what he's missing now and it's hard for a 3-year-old to act selflessly.  

In the weeks leading up to his birthday we talked about the children in the hospital and their families.  How it must feel to not be able to be in their own homes.  Max asked me why the kids have to be in the hospital at all.  I said "Because they're very sick and need doctors."  Max said, "You mean the kids have owies?  Like scrapes and bonked heads?"  The innocence of his question gave me a lump in my throat.  The worst thing he can think of is having a "bonked head" or a "scrape".   But I just said, "Yes, exactly, buddy."

By the time his party rolled around he seemed comfortable with the fact he wasn't going to have gifts to open.  He'd say, "I have a lot of tings and other people need stuff more than me."  But then he'd say..."But you're gonna give me a pwesent, right momma?"  My sweet boy.  I could relate to the inner struggle.  I want "things" too.  We all deal with some level of materialism.  I don't want him to think there's anything wrong with wanting something, but I don't want him to be consumed with consuming either.  It's a hard concept to learn and it can be a hard concept to live.  We're working on finding a good balance.  Watching his reaction to giving, though, made me feel like maybe we're doing something right...
We hadn't planned on dropping everything off on this particular day, but we had gone to the library earlier that morning and Max got busy coloring pages and pages of print-outs they had on the art tables.   After he had gone through more than ten pages, I said,  "Who are all of these for?!"  He said, "I want to take them to the Ronald House with our donation."  It caught me off guard because we hadn't talked about the donation in a couple days.  I thought it was so sweet that it was still on his mind although all the items had been sitting in the back of my car for over a week.   He also asked me to put "I love you." at the top of the pages.  He said he thought it would make the people feel  happy.   Talk about proud momma moment!  His little three-year-old heart is so big.
When he handed over the drawings to the person at the front desk he was jumping and clapping...clearly so proud of his work.  Watching his reaction made me realize that this act of giving made him even happier than opening presents.  He even pulled out all of the items to show her what we had brought.  I wish I would have gotten a good picture of his face...he was beaming!  
The thank you notes Max sent to his party guests for bringing donations.
 However, Max did not completely go without.  Here's how we celebrated on the day of his birthday...
Present opening first thing in the morning!  He had been patient long enough :) Max wanted to open his presents sitting on his new tractor.  Sullivan wanted to help with opening presents too...
Sullivan gave Max a pair of Toy Story headphones he had been asking and asking for.  Max was thrilled.  He gave Sullivan a hug and said "Sully you're the best brother EVER!" :)

Loving the new (old) tractor.
The SmartMax building set was a hit too.  Max likes to make microphones out of the pieces :)

We met Annabelle, Aunt Jenni, Lolli and GG at SeaLife later in the morning.  Then had lunch at Fritz's. 
All holding hands.  These three love being together!
 After a fun filled day we had Max's favorite dinner...Mr Goodcents!

And the cake he requested...Woody and Buzz :)

I think Max had a fun and rewarding birthday.  He got to give a little and get a little.  And eat a LOT of cake.  What more could a boy wish for?

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