I've come to the conclusion this month that Christmas is like one big, month-long caffeine rush. It is fun and magical and special and thanks to my Jane, sweet and meaningful.
We are filling stockings for 71 foster kids. It has been quite an endeavor, with all sorts of fun things rolling into our house. It's been hard for these kiddos to see all the candy and be told they can't have any. I've been telling them that the stuff is for kids with no mommies and daddies.
I think this has really affected Jane. A few days ago she wanted to share our house with people who don't have a house. But yesterday she really went above and beyond for a girl of four.
Jane kept offering yesterday, "I can share my mommy and daddy. Is that a good idea?"
"That's a wonderful idea, Jane," I would reply.
Then, after thinking for a minute she said, "I can give some of my toys to kids with no mommy or daddy."
I thought it was just more talk. I told her if she wanted to do that then she should go pick out some toys to give away.
Jane surprised me further by going to her toy organizer and rummaging through it. I wanted to make sure she understood exactly what she was doing. "Jane," I said. "If you give these toys away they will be gone forever. You won't ever see them again." Jane just continued searching through her toys.
A few minutes later she returned with five toys. Of course, three of them were actually Max's, but that's beside the point. "Here, mommy," she said. "Let's put these in the stockings, okay?"
I set the toys on the counter, very touched, because one of the toys was a treasured Tinkerbell bath toy (she has Snow White and Tinkerbell and they play together all the time.) "Are you sure you want to give away Tinkerbell," I asked.
"I still have Snow White," she responded. "Can we put them in the stockings?"
"Yes," I replied. But let's do it tonight after Max is asleep."
But Jane wasn't quite pleased with that answer. She quietly went and retrieved one of our stockings, put the toys in there and handed it back to me. If I thought she hadn't understood what she was doing she changed all that by telling me. "I can never see them again."
Last night, Jane fell asleep very early. I put those toys in the stockings (all except Tinkerbell, she was sticky) and thought about my sweet Jane, who really understood and really followed the spirit of Christmas.