The other week Bryce was given a gift by his Grannie. He had been over her house, spending a few hours with her. When I returned to pick him up, there was his usual luggage: his Thomas bag, some other bag, his car seat, the toilet top. But there was a box at the door, one the boy was pointing too.
His face was humble, too humble, and I knew the box without looking at it. I knew it was another gift that he really wanted. I could tell from the look in his eyes that he thought I would overrule the gift.
His Grannie was asking if he wanted to leave his big wheel at her house. He was saying no to her but looking at me, hoping I would say yes. I got a kick out of it. Even while I questioned what I had done to my son for him to think I would say he couldn’t bring his new toy home.
For a flash, I thought about all the other gifts people have given him that I’ve had to pick up and carry and, later, put together. I was nodding in the doorway, repeating his Grannie’s question. Are you leaving it here or taking it home? You can imagine his answer.
I thought back to when I rode my own big wheel. I softened, not that I was hard. I was surprised how many bags I already had to carry. But I am getting used to carrying more than I think I can. There’s always time to go to the car and come back and get another box, another bag, another gift for the boy.
I stood there, asking that question. He was answering, holding on to the box, hardly saying goodbye to his kind Grannie. From that point on, the only thing he said was something about that box. All the way to the car. All the way home. All while I, later on, put that thing together.