By the time your kids are in their late teens and beyond, you think you really know them. And then one day, they surprise you in the best possible way.
When my collegian returned home for his winter break from UTSA, his first order of business just about shocked me: He wanted to make a Christmas gift for his younger brother. This, my friends, was incredibly unusual, because it would be my almost-21-year-old son’s first do-it-yourself present.
Showing his not-often-seen sensitive side, my older son thought about what little bro might want and then sprung into action. The goal? Produce seven small, starred, orange balls similar to dragon balls, which are used in the Dragon Ball animated series that my #2 son likes watching.
My #1 son invested four bucks in a can of orange spray paint. We already had plenty of small bouncy balls that the boys used to collect. So while the kid was at school last week, his older bro was busy in our backyard spraying again and again and again.
At first, my son put the orange orbs onto newspaper to dry, which caused them to have bits of newsprint on them. So I gave him a corrugated tray, which helped the cause; however, he still couldn’t get the paint to apply smoothly. When the blotchy balls finally dried, he sketched his rendition of stars on them (and discovered that he absolutely could not draw well, which he was able to laugh about, thank goodness) and showed me the finished product.
I smiled and then wiped away a tear—this was such a wonderful idea but with such poor execution. Knowing how much his brother had spent on what he bought for the collegian (the baby Luigi plushie), I complimented my scraggly-bearded boy on his effort while advising him to buy another gift, which he did.
On Christmas morning as little bro opened his big bro’s gift, I held my breath wondering what his reaction would be. Another surprise: He loved it, especially since it was handmade.
My older son approached the kid and explained about all that went into producing this unique present, the highs and the lows. And then they actually hugged!
This just proves that it definitely IS the thought that counts!