This past weekend, we celebrated Nick’s 40th birthday. It was one of the most memorable parties we have held here. 100 people joined us in the mild afternoon sunshine, lavished presents and well wishes on Nick, ate wonderful Mexican food from Ixtapa (our local favorite restaurant) and spent a couple of hours laughing and visiting with one another.
The people that came showed how well they knew Nick through the gifts that he received. Presents included chocolate milk, M&M’s, Skittles, Junior Mints, a Seahawk Corn Hole game, and of course airplanes. Karen, Nick’s sister, created a ‘Neopolitan’ birthday cake that was so delicious we only had a few pieces left over after the party. One couple, knowing how much Nick loves to collect brochures, created a Nick Brochure. I added it to his birthday party collage so you could see how amazing it is.
For me, historically, gift giving has sometimes been stressful. I want the gift that I select to be something that will express my feelings as well as be treasured by the recipient. That is a lot of pressure to put on a gift. What I observed at Nick’s party was that each of the gifts he received was treasured by him. The delight on his face was obvious. AND the tender emotions on the faces of the gift givers was also obvious. It was incredible to behold.
I realized that when Nick is asking for more presents, it is not really the actual item he is anticipating receiving. It is the love that he feels coming to him from the person handing him the gift and the love he returns to them through his smile. That is the gift. Oh he loves the chocolate and the airplanes. Those are fun. But when he is playing with the airplane or drinking the chocolate milk, he reminds us who gave each of these gifts to him. I know he is remembering the love.
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