Image by Alicia BockDecember 18th, 1983
We've been having to leave for work a little earlier lately to allow for the conditions of the snow covered roads. I see all of the beautiful toys that the couple I am working for are buying for their three children. They have wrapped them up so pretty and spared no expense to the amount of ribbon and bows that adorn those packages. It's a conflict on my mind not to envy their situation as I know that I have you with me all day long and their careers not only interfere with their daytime hours, but also includes night time meeting obligations as well. I know in my heart that the best gifts that I can give you are my time and love. Even with this knowledge, I would love to spoil you for Christmas with an armload of brand new toys. I have been thrifty with my shopping and tried to spread it out over the last few months. I scan the second hand shops for suitable toddler gifts. I know that you are too young to know any different, but I know. If your father would just release his grip around his wallet, I could buy you something new, something special that was meant for just you. I don't ask for his contribution towards the upcoming holiday, and he does not offer. So it will be what it is to be, thrifty and creative.
I am certain that others in the family will be giving you new toys, and I am so grateful for that. I hate to see you go with out.
I think about a time when I was very young, it's a memory that my sister tells me is one she can never seem to erase from her mind. She tells me that I had very long braids in my hair and chubby little checks, just like you have. We were at my grandparents house for a Christmas get together of my fathers side of the family. All of my cousins were there, I was the third youngest and my sister was the oldest of the cousins. We lived further away from our grandparents then the other cousins and this led to favoritism on my grandmother's part. It was most noticeable when all of the aunts and other girl cousins received bath robes, hand made from big fluffy towels. My grandmother had made them and boasted about how much she loved her own. I sat anxiously for my turn to receive mine. I was about 5 at the time, and didn't understand why my robe had not been handed to me yet. I turned to my big sister, Kim and asked her the question, "Where is my special made robe?" My sister tells me that this broke her heart. She knew that she and I were not receiving those special robes. She understood, even at the age of 11, that she and I were not favored like the other girls, and only special girls got those fluffy robes. She would never forgive our grandmother for not making me a robe like the others received. She did not care that she, herself did not get one, she just couldn't bare the sadness in my eyes of being left out. That's the kind of big sister she always was, putting my feelings ahead of her own.
Image by Jen Kiaba Photography
I suppose now I can better understand what she must have felt. When you become a mother some day, you will want the best for your children too. And on the occasions that they feel left out, your heart will break as you look into their eyes. This is one of those days for me. I can not imagine a much worse feeling than not be able to provide your child with the things that you feel they are worthy of. I will make sure that you feel my love and that I give you a sense of comfort that no toy could ever provide. I hope when you grow up, you know that I am doing the best for you that I know how. I just hope it is good enough. Now stay close by.