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...
However, Max did not completely go without. Here's how we celebrated on the day of his birthday...
|The thank you notes Max sent to his party guests for bringing donations.|
|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!|
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?