Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Day with My Boy

Curtis told me that one of his favorite childhood memories was when his mom would take him and his sister to pick out a Christmas present for their dad. They would go in the tools section and pick out whatever struck their fancy. Steve probably already had or didn't need whatever they picked out, but Curt said his dad absolutely loved it and treasured his gifts. Mom used to take Melissa and I to Academy to shop for our dad, where I would pick out fishing lures from the worm bar. (You haven't lived until you've squished oily rubber worms in your hands in the worm bar.) They came in all sorts of crazy color schemes and I'm sure I picked out the wildest looking ones. I don't think Dad ever used those lures, but hopefully his daughter's interest in what he loved meant something to him.

When Curt mentioned that memory to me, I knew I needed to do the same with Jackson. I hate that I didn't think of it first, but I'm blaming the fact that we went out of town for a week right before Christmas. We won't ever do that again.

I ended up getting to spend a really great afternoon alone with Jackson. First we drove to the library to return our library books. One was a Dick and Jane reader that I will remember forever as the first book he ever read to me. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I remember reading the same book with my mom and I hope Jackson will remember it, too.

I asked him where he wanted to go to shop for his daddy and he said Walmart.
Oh sweet Lord, give me strength. I accepted my lot and we drove to the behemoth of holiday crowds and grinches. My consolation was the fact that now we would only need to go to one store instead of the three I had planned on.

Jackson climbed into the basket, which embarrassed me a little but then it was so practical I decided not to care. We gathered all the groceries we needed for our Christmas Eve dinner with our dear friends. I also decided at the last minute that I would make my traditional butterscotch haystacks, even though I'd sworn I wouldn't do that to my body. Since I was making those naughty little treats, why not add cake balls, oreo balls, and chex mix into the...mix? Jackson was surrounded by food on every side but he insisted on staying in the basket.

At last it was time to pick out Daddy's present! He knew exactly what he wanted to get from the moment I told him what we were doing. We managed to find something - even down to the color he specified - that would be perfect. Then he picked out a present for his sister and that was very sweet. He chose was the same doll I had taken to our precious Stephanie in Guatemala, only with light skin and blond hair. It was a little more than I wanted to spend today but I didn't want to crush his generosity.

Normally, checking out at Walmart is a huge pain, but today we were behind a woman who was buying a ton of blankets, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. I asked her if she was taking it to a shelter and she said yes. Well look at that. Walmart was filled with angels, not grinches. Shame on me for my attitude. Jackson asked what she was doing and we had a great teachable moment.

I realize none of this story is very interesting, but it was so wonderful to spend that time alone with my son. Maybe this will add some flavor to my boring story.

We lacked one thing and had to go to HEB to get it. There were only like 5 spots open in the parking lot and I was saying under my breath, "Stupid, stupid HEB." Jackson broke out in a loud cackle, "Mommy, you said stupid! Ha ha! I heard you saying stupid!" Oh by the way, this morning he told me he tooted and I said, "Bud, I don't need to know that." Then he said, "Mommy, I want you to know about everything that comes out of my body." Wow.

While Jackson and I were at HEB dealing with more crowds and grinchiness than ever, Curtis was having a father-daughter date with Annabeth at La Madeleine. How precious is that? Now, Annabeth is too young to request a restaurant, so if any of you are friends with my husband and want to give him a hard time about his love for French food, feel free.

Tonight we went to my parents' house and had supper. Mom made an amazing beef stew with cornbread. Colin had just gotten a new guitar and he played for us. He's so good! He won Annabeth over with that. On the way home we stopped by a house in our neighborhood that does a light show choreographed to music. The kids loved it.

Right now Santa is in the garage putting together a little pink kitchen and a "race track that crashes cars." It was the one thing Jackson said he wanted over and over again. I'm hoping Annabeth likes her kitchen more than I like mine. Maybe if I painted it pink...

42 comments:

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I always enjoy your posts Amanda - so glad that you and Curtis had fun times making great memories with your little ones.

merry Christmas to you!

Amanda Bleau said...

What a great tradition you started today with Jackson- and I hope Curits starts the daddy daughter date tradition with Annabeth. Your family is such a blessing. Merry Christmas from one Amanda to another!

Karen L. said...

just to make you feel better.....my daughter will be 9 in february (she's my youngest) and she still gets in the cart at walmart....sometimes i insist so i can walk faster!!
have a merry Christmas!

Ashley said...

Oreo balls...I bet 75% of my Facebook friends have mentioned Oreo balls in the last week. It must be God's will for me to try these things. I need a recipe!

{Thirty} Little Piggies said...

I just laughed out loud several times while reading this. My husband just looks over at me like I'm a nutcase. Maybe I am. But it feels good to know there are other "nutcase" moms out there like me! ;) Thanks for the belly laugh!

bethany said...

Love the idea of letting the little ones pick out presents-maybe I should get over my cheapness and let them do it :)

Jakson and Jackson were made for each other. Jakson wants a "'mote control Hot Wheels and lots of cars"

Kristen @ Moms Sharpening Moms said...

Amanda, this had me howling! You are a HOOT! With twin boys of my own, I have many similar memories. Thanks for the respite in my busy Christmas Eve Eve so I could have a giggle or 12!

Merry Christmas!

Paige said...

that last bit made me laugh hard...I hope she likes her kitchen too...why is it we love them at 2 but don't like to step into them at 32? :)

Sounds like a great day for the whole Jones family!

Merry Christmas!

paige

Millicent said...

so sweet--great memories with your little ones! Merry Christmas!

debra said...

i took my four to the mall on Wednesday to pick out gifts for dad. i loved watching them. we have done this for years but just now with the FOUR. we all left smelling like old man cologne. thank you dillards sales lady for that. they decided on something different but we brought the "smell" home for fun.

Angela said...

Ava is getting a pink kitchen as well. The one from Target. I feel it has the look of Pottery Barn but oh so much cheaper!
I hope she loves it too. And, somehow I think a big pink kitchen sounds like a nightmare! ;-)
Merry Christmas.

Julie Marler (Mammy) said...

Fun memories you are making!! I remember when my now grown son was about Jackson's age we went to Academy so he could buy daddy a rifle carrying case (I'm sure there is a true word for these but I have no idea what it is!!). Later that night my husband and son were laying on the floor just looking at all the presents under the tree. My son said, "Daddy, I bet you can't guess what's in my present for you!" Hubby said, "No I sure can't!". Son - "I bet it's not one of those things that will hold your gun!!" Loved it!!

And for many years when my husband was headed to Academy (which is one of his favorite stores)he would always tell me, "Well, I'm heading to Academy. Just need the feel to go play in the worm bar!!" Of course he was joking but he said it for years!!

Keep making those Christmas memories!!
Mammy

Susy said...

What a great idea for a dad gift, maybe next year! Sounds awesome minus the crowds!

Marc and Charity said...

Sounds like a great day! Hope she loves her kitchen.

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

Oh, my goodness...it is as I suspected. The male need to let females know about everything that pertains to their body or erupts from their body is part of their humanity. I had so hoped that I had the one anomaly in the world, but alas, it seems I do not. Unfortunately, it only increases in volume and intensity as they grow older. Drats!!

Do you think we could get the beef stew recipe?

Merry Christmas!!

Leah

Angie said...

Our Anna is getting a kitchen, too--I decided to assemble it all by myself thinking my husband would be impressed. Unfortunately, at about midnight last night, I realized I had done Step 5 (out of 47 steps) wrong, so my husband was woken up at midnight and had to drill some holes to fix it. So bless Curtis for his kitchen assembly--he probably deserves a few butterscotch haystacks for that.

Kim said...

Thank you. This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life - and I needed to be reminded again of the simple things in life and the joys that are to be found in the middle of it all.

Merry Christmas and thanks for the mental pictures of little boys in the middle of carts full of groceries! You are a blessing.

Joy to the world - and to you.

Heather said...

I have three sons... they're grown now... and for a large part of their childhood, I was a single mom... but I always tried to carve out little memory making times alone with each of them. It's wonderful when the whole family is all together but those precious times one on one truly form your relationship. Merry Christmas, sweet girl! God bless!

Jeremy, Holly, and Haven said...

We put together a kitchen last night for our 2 year old and it took 3 HOURS! It is really nice, but oh my! The kicker, its a gift from the grandparents but we had to put it together. They were afraid it wouldn't fit in our car, but now we know what they were really up to.

Deidre said...

One of my favorite things as a child was going out with my Dad to buy my Mom's present. We still do that today.

I love that you had that time with Jackson. Emma (my 9 yr old) tells me all the time she loves one-on-one dates with me (or my husband). It makes her feel special. Jackson will never forget.


Merry Christmas, Amanda!

Barbara Head said...

Oh, Amanda, I love, love, love Christmas shopping stories. When I was little (over 60 yrs. ago) a favorite uncle would give me and my brother and sister $l.00 and take us to the Five & Dime (an early Walmart). We would buy 5, yes 5 gifts with that $l.00. We were the happiest children that day and my parents were the recipients of yet another butter dish and ashtray (yes they had ashtrays back then). I love those memories. To this day my God-given gift is to be a cheerful giver. I simply LOVE to GIVE and God has so blessed my life!!!

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Oh my dear Amanda! You are so wrong in thinking this would not be interesting! I loved reading every single word you wrote about your sweet family and the memories you are making!

I hope you have a very wonderful Christmas surrounded by those you love!

Merry Christmas!
Marilyn...in Mississippi

Julie Marler (Mammy) said...

Oh yeah...forgot to write earlier...I actually HAD a pink kitchen once!!! White appliances and cabinets but pink walls! And I LOVED it! Of course it was back in the 80's which was my "Victorian" era of decorating!!
Mammy I also had lots of lace everywhere :)

Amanda @ DAES of Our Lives said...

Great Christmas memories! You'll treasure them forever - who would have thought Wal-Mart would play into a life-long memory?!

Lauren said...

Making sweet memories. So precious Amanda!!!! :)

CAROL LIVIN FOR GOD said...

Oh Amanda loved the post I enjoy reading them , I am glad that you all are starting your Christmas traditions what a blessed time you and Jackson had and I am sure Curtis enjoyed his time with Annabeth.
Merry Christmas to all of you
Carol

Gabby said...

Time alone with my boy is more than precious now that he is 11. There is something about Christmas time that makes him extra sweet and loving. Last night he snuggled up in my lap between his little sister and the 42 pound dog (who thinks he is light as a feather) and it was just the sweetest feeling for me. There just is something about a son and mom getting bonding time!My daughter loved her little kitchen set!

ashia said...

you crack me up! i loved this post. i laughed out loud several times. :) my favorite part was probably the opportunity that you had to explain to jackson about donating to the shelter. priceless.

Sister Lynn said...

Merry Christmas, dear Jones family.

Amanda, thank you for sharing the precious, funny, and real moments that enrich your life. I love reading your blog.

Many blessings to you in 2011!

Sister Lynn

Kristen said...

I love this. I am going to do this with E next year...so fun!

ThirtysomethingMom said...

Merry Merry Christmas! I love reading your blog. You are a wonderful mother! I am older than you and I have learned so much from your posts.

I am a school teacher and reading books with your kids and teaching them to read does make such a difference in the lives!!! Keep up the good work!

Fran said...

Merry Christmas Amanda. What a blessing you are to me. I pray that God bless your socks off this next year. Immeasurably more :)

Love,
Fran

Sarah said...

Precious memories! What great times, so glad you could do that. Merry Christmas!! :)

Holly Rook said...

Amanda, I love reading your blog and I wanted you to know that our little family sponsored a Compassion child from the Dominican Republic. I followed your posts from your Guatemala trip and kept feeling like it was time for us to do it. I had checked it out several times before, but the need overwhelmed me. I finally came to the conclusion that we can help one child and that it is the rest of the body of Christ's work to help with others (almost 1,200) that are waiting. We will pray for our new sponsor child and the rest that are waiting. We hope to get a chance to meet him someday in the DR. Thanks for your encouragement and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Amanda said...

Holly, God bless your family for reaching out to this child. You will make a huge difference in his life. He will be eager to hear from you! Thank you so much for investing in his present, future, and eternity.

C:M:W said...

The smell of the worm bar is something I will NEVER forget. Merry Christmas Friend.

Siesta OC said...

That Jackson is a hoot! I cracked up way too loud for my office over that one!

Shellie Paparazzo said...

Can I ask a stupid question? It's probably totally obvious, but I've heard people (probably you and your family) mention this place before, but what is the HEB?

katiegfromtennessee said...

Not a boring story, a good post from you:)

Nesha said...

Late posting on this, sorry. I just wanted to tell you that we started that tradition with our boys when they were 5 yrs, now 9 & 13 yrs. I take them out seperately for their dad's gift and then he takes them out seperately for mine. They love it! I also do the same for the gifts to each other and they pay half out of their money. Great memories for sure!

Carrie Beth said...

Amanda -
We let our boys pick out presents for one another this year and it was both comical and sweet. They each had a set amount of money (their own) and had to stay within the limits. I had to take my oldest to two separate places to find the "perfect gift" for his little brother (2). They wrapped their own gifts and my middle son (5) couldn't contain himself and told his older brother (7)what he had bought for him!
We had such a good time even though they wanted to go to Walmart to shop :( It turned out to be one of the highlights of our Christmas season and definitely something we'll continue in future years!
Hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Carrie Beth

Jackie said...

"Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to put her away quietly." Matthew 1:19


what would you have wanted him to do...if this was you best friend