So we have ups and downs with both kids. Eli gets a bit 'unpredictable' when he is low on sleep and Maddux is going through a phase that I can't quite name because it encompasses so many *fun* aspects. For this post I am throwing all of that out the window and will shamelessly explain what just happened before bed.
At Eli's request, the book tonight was the Bible, specifically his Action Bible. Last night he read about the birth of Jesus with Lehr, so tonight we tackled when Jesus went to the Temples in Jerusalem when he was 12. Eli asked a few questions, and we moved on to the Orange Parenting video for the week. (I have the app on my phone and the kids absolutely love it...so do I!) This video was about struggling with having and wanting 'stuff', and how stuff is fine as long as it doesn't become more important than people or Jesus. We had barely turned off the phone when Eli said, "I think I will just keep four of my presents at Christmas and then give the rest to the family." (Sidenote: during the reading or the video, we talked about the opportunity we've been given on Christmas day to deliver food to a family who needs it. This is 'the family' Eli is speaking of.)
So of course my mouth is hanging open and tears are welling in my eyes and I want to say, "Oh sweetheart, you don't have to give up your presents." But I don't; I let him keep talking. "Mom, I think what I'll do is open the presents, and then I'll pick four to keep and bring the others, like maybe legos or books or cars, to the family when we bring them food." I take a deep breath and tell him that his idea is awesome and that I love his heart. I didn't want to make him sign a contract binding him to it, but I also wanted him to think about it more and hopefully go through with it, but of his own free will. I asked him to pray about it and remember that on Christmas morning. At this point Maddux says, "Mom, I think I'll do that next year. Not this year, but definitely next year." I told her that was fine and that it was a great idea no matter what year it was. But a few minutes later she changed her mind and said she wanted to bring some presents too, but she wanted us to wrap them back up so that the kids could open them for themselves. I then reminded the kids that we didn't know what family we'd be delivering to yet, and they might not have kids the same age as them. Eli said then he'd just bring the gifts back home and give them to someone else.
I fully realize that as amazing and generous as this conversation was, the thrill and shiny new of Christmas morning may change things. But it was a conversation prompted by the kids and I am choosing to see it as a step in the best possible direction. I think I'll go to bed right now and end my day on the best possible note.