Sometimes Free Surprises are the Best!
Lisa / 16 Jan 2013 / Personal Finance
My son goes to school four days a week, and my husband and I split the days that we pick him up. Recently, D has started running down the stairs and opening the garage door to greet me. “Mommy!! You are home! I have missed you!” he screams and he runs around the car to give me a giant hug. It’s the best part of my day when I see his smiling face at the door.
The other day, after we had our Mommy and son hugfest he asked, “Did you bring me a surprise? Is there something in your bag?” Coincidentally I did pick up some food from the store that day, so I answered with honesty, “why yes, yes I do have a surprise for you!” He got so excited and as he ran back upstairs he kept asking me what it was and promptly told Daddy that I had brought a surprise.
I barely put my bag down before he shoved his little hand in there and brought out a container, asking what it was. I deflected the question back at him. “What do you think it is,” I challenged.
“Burrata!” shouted my son and quickly asked if he could have some. Okay, okay, I know most four-year-olds don’t have a very advanced palate, but D really loves cheese, and burrata is one of his favorites. The store that I buy it from doesn’t always have enough in stock, so it is kind of a treat when I bring it home.
The next night we had a repeat of the same scenario in the garage, and once again D asked if I brought home a surprise. This time I didn’t have anything material, but I told him that I had a surprise nonetheless. He got all excited and looked in the direction of my bag, but I quickly intervened and told him that it wasn’t something tangible. Instead, his surprise was a hug. I wasn’t sure just how he would react, but he smiled a huge smile and gave me a huge hug. Then he told me that it was a great surprise. And you know what, it didn’t cost a thing! Surprises don’t have to cost money, and sometimes it’s the free surprises that are worth more. Take the money you would have spent on a small surprise, throw it into a savings account and reap the rewards later.
D and I now have our own little game where we randomly ask each other for surprises. On a rare occasion I will actually give him a little gift, but the majority of the time it’s just a sign of affection, like a hug and kiss or a song. Sometimes I find something from outside, like a rock or a leaf and I give that to him. What I learned from this whole experience is that it’s not the actual object that is important, and certainly not it’s cost. What matters is that my son knows that I am thinking of him, and also vice-versa. I can see that he gets very excited and proud to show me the surprise that he got for me, whatever it is. Plus, I am teaching him happiness and thoughtfulness are not tied to material objects.
What kind of little games do you have with your kids, to show them you are thinking of them?
Author: LisaMore by This Author