The present tense

Well the magic dragon party is all over, life has gone back to normal and it was a fabulous day.

Mossy and the Littles are in bed, sleeping off the sugar fall out while I slowly tidy away the remains for another year.

As I bundle the packaging into the recycling from Ari’s haul of presents I cringe as always, looking at the generosity of our friends and family who shower this little girl with the only the best toys, books and games.

I ja’dore giving gifts but struggle every year with the acceptance of them. Even more so on behalf of my children, who have so much more than they need, especially when so many children go without. When love is all you need, it troubles me to watch as Ari is handed one ribbon wrapped box after another as her guests arrive.

I have tried in the past to request via invitation no gifts but, apart from being given them anyway, it makes me wonder, am I just creating more problems? It embarrasses me to the point of mortification to open gifts in front of other people and I will make any excuse to do it once everyone has left. But after sending a little girl home in tears yesterday because I had forgotten the obvious, the buck stopped there for me. People love to give. Children in particular. Its really that simple. I hope the little Lady can forgive me.

At the end of the day, kids love presents, it’s the best part according to Ari. Aside from the magician I ask? Yup, definitely was the short  answer. And who am I to force my anti consumerist tendencies onto her at such a young age? Especially, when I had thirty years to buy all the stuff I wanted and build a collection of beloved items that I treasure. Who’s to say that her little “Juliet” Tea For One won’t sit in a vintage cabinet along with other prized teasets one day? That she won’t keep just one dusty box in the bottom of her parents wardrobe to open every so often and reorganize its contents of wooden macaroons, Barbies with their hair cut into more fashionable lengths and homemade felt pincushions created from her first clumsy attempts with a sewing needle.

In all my yearning to be a good mother and bring my children up as kind, gentle and thoughtful beings could I possibly do the opposite by forcing them to ask that their friends buy a goat for a child in Africa as opposed to giving them that snap watch they saw last week in the toystore?

Mothers guilt, it’s a nasty Lady I tell you.

And so, this afternoon as I leave her gifts in a pile on the chest to be examined at length after nap time, I see them for what they are. Not as shiny new toys to occupy my kid so I can get dinner cooked or the washing hung up, but the loving gestures from the people dearest to my daughter. People who have watched her grow day by day and those who have entered her life only lately, to mould themselves to her as surely as any tattooists’ ink. People, who love her as much as I do and on this day want to make her feel like the luckiest, most special child on earth.

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2 Comments

  1. Amy Harris

     /  March 18, 2012

    Of course the little lady can forgive you!! And you did hit the nail on the head! She did want to see if Ari liked our present. But we were also more than happy to accept the excuse. Mum’s know best how their daughters will react in situations and we respect that! We all had so much fun on the day! The kids LOVED the magician! Perfect Day. Just sorry we couldn’t stay longer. xx

    Reply
    • Lady Moss

       /  March 18, 2012

      She’s the sweetest, dearest little Lady and we adore her, such special cousins xxx

      Reply

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