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