Yesterday was an interesting day to be a parent. The day started off with hearing my 6.5 year old son telling us that he didn't have a good nights sleep. Apparently, his dreams had gone to the dark side and kept waking him up. I think he's on Christmas overload as his dreams had involved the Grinch. He's not afraid of the Grinch, as he enjoys both the original cartoon version and the live action one with Jim Carey. I think he just doesn't want him in his dreams. Who could fault him on that one, right?
Then came phase two of the day, a parent, teacher, principal & specialist meeting about our son. My son has issues that stem from his birth. I wont go into the details, but he is a handful while at school. Fortunately, he is surrounded by people who love him and want the best for him. To get all the help he needs it was important to hear all of his issues from his teacher. Normally, a parent might get defensive after hearing problem after problem. The truth is, we were in complete agreement and know he can be a handful. The thing about our son though, is that when he stops bouncing off the wall he is the kindest and gentlest soul you will ever meet. You go from pulling your hair out to hugging him to laughing all within 5 minutes. He makes life interesting and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Which brings us to the end part of the day. In our house we have a recycling bin for paper. This time of year it is filled mostly with the tons of holiday catalogs and junk mail we get daily. One envelope was from some mission seeking donations for poor families in Third World countries. We have donated to these types organizations in the past, but we can't give to everyone that asks. So this organization's letter was in the bin. Our son had noticed a picture that the organization included with their donation request. It was a boy, close to our son's age, and his mother and father. Our son was moved as to why they looked so sad in the picture. My wife tried to explain about how some people live in poverty. At dinner I noticed my son was quiet and sad looking. We asked him what was wrong and he broke down in tears because of the poor child in the picture. He wanted for us to send him all our money so the boy would be OK.
That is our son. The pride I have as a parent is unmeasurable. I don't know if other kids are like that and if it's normal for a 6.5 year old to show such compassion at this age for others based on a photograph. Moments like this fill you with hope. Despite all his other issues, inside this little boy is a caring man. Merry Christmas to us, Merry Christmas to you.