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A son's true gift to his father. How much is too much. Learn from the children.

Updated on February 24, 2013

Coastal plains

When this area gets wet it gets really wet.
When this area gets wet it gets really wet. | Source

I will change some of this around and I may be foggy on some of it but in essence it is a true story.

Back around 1992 I had a son of around 7 years old. This boy was what we called a toe head. That means is brownish hair was near blonde from being bleached by the sun. We lived in a place called Leucadia California. The Pacific Ocean and beach were our “back yard”. This boy liked to fly. Jumping off roofs was second only to surfing, tree climbing was next on his list. As a son he was just about perfect.

When is Christmas

One day, the actual day is irrelevant, the boy was just whining about wanting something or another. I took him by the arm and walked around the house and yard and showed him all his toys. Somehow he was not impressed by all he had. So I looked him, fixed us a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and commenced to tell him just how poor the families were down Ensenada Mexico way. I reminded him of the dirt floors and cardboard walls we had seen. Of course I then said “any of those kids would just love to have one of your toys”. My boy looked at me and said “now I get it, they probably would like this sandwich and milk too”. Well my boy got the point and I went back to playing with my newest toy, a used saber saw.

I call this photo "too much stuff"

How much do we need?
How much do we need? | Source

Amazing, I talked, he acted.

Well it was quiet around the house for the next hour, so I went looking for my son. He was sitting in the front seat of our station wagon. In the back of the station wagon it was stuffed full of all his toys. He had also stuffed in a box full of canned food (I do acknowledge that peas and yams were included). Of course I walked up to him and asked through the window, “and what are we doing?” He simply looked at me and said: “taking these toys to the kids that need them”.

One detour then paradise

Since we were going anyway, we got some tar paper to go with our sleigh. The next stop was on a rutted muddy road going out on a mesa overlooking the Ocean, just north of Ensenada. We did some slip sliding but came to a stop in a settlement of about 10 shacks. This place was named Newport, but Gringos changed it to Puerto Nuevo. Children came running up to sell us Chiclets and seashells and we got out to greet them. Smiles were everywhere when we opened up the car. The giving was a little chaotic but close to fair. The roll of tar paper covered the 3 worst roofs. We of course shared some refried bean burritos and I had some delicious reheated coffee. And then we were on our way. Back to our lives.

When this guy is not climbing mountains or teaching challenged youngsters or running charity events his is found here making a dollar -- http://www.mc2mm.com/miami/men/brooks

Some great young men go to war, others go to peace.

Building greatness requires sacrifice of all kinds.
Building greatness requires sacrifice of all kinds. | Source

How can a child see so clearly that which we ignore?

I have seen bigger and fancier gifts I probably have given a few worthy to be called great gifts. But I have never received a better gift than on that day. We fail, but we try hard as parents to convey love and no prejudice. I think every parent somehow prays that they raise their children up with proper values. But there is no better gift than when a child steps up and is better than you.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      We are celebrating. What wonders of love are in store for us. Sorry Rcrumple but my response is short for we have much to do, we must run around and serve our neighbors. With each gift I think of you.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Eric, I am late, but happy I did not miss this offering of yours. Your son's heart was as big as the sky, and worthy of his father's pride. May this Christmas be a great one for you, my friend! I wish you a day filled with peace, love, happiness, and safety!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Jule, your kind words are a gift in and of themselves. I am sure that many find your presence in their life a great Christmas present. Thanks

    • jule729 profile image

      Julie Hementera-Agato 4 years ago

      I felt the sincerity of the message of this hub. I love the last sentence which conveys the message of what should the parents be to their children. I appreciate that despite all the commercialism brought by the season, there are people who are taking time to reflect on the real meaning of Christmas. Time, effort and simple gift are great when we sealed it with love.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sally, you are so right. If it is about the tradition we fail. If it is about your delicious fudge made with love and attention; Christmas is Awesome. Thanks

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Boiling up the fudge today, - gifts handmade with love. It is surely not about how much it costs but more about how much thought went into getting the taste just right for each person.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      When I was just a little fellow and youngest of six, I would get gift wrapped hand me downs from my big brothers and sisters. Those were wonderful Christmases. My youngest now still plays with some of them.

      I think that is why I like your hub on last minute hand made gifts. Thanks.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you for sharing this precious moment that your son gave you. His display of selflessness is what the Christmas spirit is about.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ologsinquito, I guess our remorse for the Newton 26 is hitting our nation a little hard. I am usually quite like a rock over such matters, but it has me hurting this time. Thanks for visiting and for your own great hubs.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks for sharing this. We can use some Christmas cheer.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Theresa, don't tell anyone but I have cried many tears of joy over that day. And my son nearly 20 years later is still pulling rabbits like that out of his hat. Someday I'll tell you how he hiked an extra mile and a half to help with pack in 110 degree heat.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      What a wonderful, wonderful moment for you and your son. Glad you shared it with us.

    • Ericdierker profile image
      Author

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you for dropping by and commenting. Sometimes just a warm hearted note is a nice Christmas present.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Wonderful, the true spirit of giving - thanks for sharing.