|The surprise diamond heart pendant that made me pretty|
I hope it's not too late to tell you this story.... I think it's still good enough to still share, even though the parties are over and the decorations have been put away.
An unexpected gift appeared under our tiny Christmas Tree this year. My 9 year old son simply could contain his excitement, and repeatedly begged me to open the small, expertly wrapped box over and over during Christmas Eve dinner. We usually open all of our gifts on Christmas morning, as with preparing and serving the big fish dinner, I am often too tired to really enjoy the gift exchange "ceremony." But he really pressed, and I must admit, I was a little curious. This is the first gift that appeared under the tree for me from him that I did not purchase and wrap for myself!
When I finally relented, he was thrilled. Too thrilled. It made me a little suspicious and I feared the worst... was this some sort of joke? What could be in this box? An old, dried out carrot hidden in a napkin from the dinner table after an argument over eating vegetables? A dirty tissue from his coat pocket? Oh, my mind went to the darkest places...
As I began to open the gift, he hovered over me with such enthusiasm it made me nervous, so I turned to him and asked slightly impatiently: What is this? "I don't know," he shrugged. "Open it!"
Words cannot properly express the full spectrum of emotions I felt when I opened the box and saw the lovely, diamond heart pendant just sitting there and sweetly smiling at me. When my son saw my surprise and joy, he jumped up and down and yelled "hooray!" as if he just won some great prize. It became so obvious that he and I were both seeing this necklace for the first time. I hugged him and thanked him and told him I was the happiest mom in the world. He helped me put it on, stood back and said: "Oh yeah... NOW you're pretty." I nearly died from a heart explosion of love.
You have probably heard a story like this before... it reads like a "Chicken Soup For the Soul" chapter, or a Kay Jewelers commercial, even. The kind that makes you want to gag and change the channel. But not so fast... this story has a twist that makes it actually interesting.
There are obviously unseen hands here that worked quietly to make this gift happen. My son is way too young to have purchased this necklace on his own. But he had it in his heart that he wanted something special for me. It takes two things to make something happen: desire and action. Children sometimes need the adults to fulfill the action of their purest desires. And so he expressed this and the adults that "could" DID. But these adults were not the "usual suspects," ie, my parents/ my son's grandparents. They were Unseen Hands of a most unusual sort... my son's dad and step-mother. Let me say it plainly: my ex-husband and his new wife.
Yes. These two mature and caring adults deserve acknowledgement and praise for such a beautiful gesture towards me. I thank them for stepping up, letting the boundaries melt for a moment and acting on my son's behalf with this very special surprise. It was a gesture of kindness I shall never forget.
I am a firm believer of going the extra mile and practicing random acts of kindness. My heart actually hurts if I become conscious of a way to give, heal or help and don't. So I do. It's second nature to me. I know I'm not alone. There are many of us "sensitives" out there. Wired for loving unconditionally, giving our all, seeing the good, making things better. All of the time. Even if the recipients appear undeserving or ungrateful (sigh).
Well, may I remind you of this... none of it is ever in vain. It WILL come back to you. It WILL be multiplied, reflected and shown to you in a miraculous way. I promise!
Special Request Insert: If you are part of a special family... one that mom and dad co-parent their child/ren from two different homes... there may come a time or a place where you will have an opportunity to help your child show affection for the other parent. Be an angel. Be a silent hero. Be the unseen hand. Do it on behalf of your child. Do it FOR your child. You lead by example... so set the example. These are the legacies, these are the memories and these are the traditions that are worth remembering and cherishing.
Before I go, may I add: it's really wonderful that this year's Christmas Tree was a small, potted plant. It now sits on my tangerine-colored desk as I write this. The green remains a great symbol of life against the bleak backdrop of winter. And the pine scent is clean and fresh. I play with the heart pendant around my neck and start thinking about how I will plant this little tree in the garden come spring. Some things just deserve roots.