Thursday, July 25, 2019

When Someone Just Gets You

There is nothing like getting a gift that really, truly, has meaning.

Madison just turned nine, and because of travel, we didn't do a "real" birthday thing with her. This was the FIRST time we haven't had her birthday in our house, and a friend party, and a family get together, and all those bells and whistles. We did a mini celebration the day before we left for Florida, spent the actual day on vacation, doing the beach and a fancy dinner, and are peppering in family celebrations as we can. Still haven't done anything with friends. I'm honestly not even sure if that'll happen. It was weird for me, and it was weird for her.

But not BAD. She kept saying, as she opened gifts early, as she woke up in a hotel room to a hastily purchased balloon and muffin from a local grocery store, that it was AWESOME to turn nine on vacation with her best friends, surrounded by beaches and palm trees, about to head into a week of her favorite activity, and that it was really cool.

It just didn't feel like her birthday.

As she gets older, this is going to happen. The world won't stop because of your birthday. We might be on vacation, or you might be in a week of dance intensives, or it might be a rainy summer day.

But she is blessed to have so many people that GET her.

Every time she opened a card or gift, she would squeal and say, "you know me so WELL!", because she has amazing people in her life. Even those who gave her money or gift cards enclosed a note saying WHY they chose what they did, and she actually had tears in her eyes from how many people in her life know her passions and love her.

A good gift can do that.

Take anything really. A gift card to a fancy store can feel like phoning it in, even though the value is high and the store is fancy. But a gift card to a car wash for a detailing can make a busy mom feel like she's seen. A box of fancy chocolate might get a smile and a thank you, but choosing the nostalgia candy that your spouse always gravitates toward on road trips makes them feel like you get them. A pen and journal for a writer means more than an expensive scarf. Standing in line at the brewery for an allotment of craft beer means more than a nice briefcase.

It's all about knowing who someone is. And Madison was blessed to have a very spread out birthday where everyone, from her family to her friends, gets her. They know she loves dance, and got her those practical things that dancers need. They know she has a secret passion for watching old episodes of Dance Moms (don't judge) so they got her Chloe's book. They know she becomes obsessed with certain crafts, so they get her gift cards to Michael's. And they know she gets hooked on book series, so they look to Barnes and Noble. Even her cash gifts were accompanied by notes like, "I know you love your new Instax camera, so I want you to be able to buy film". Perfect.

She's nine, and she's blessed. And that makes me so happy!
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