Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Present, Just Because

Last Friday evening, my wife told me that Kai really wanted to get a Lego advent calendar. Saturday was the first day of December, so if we were going to get it for him, we needed to decide right then.

We sometimes use things that Kai really wants like this as a reward that he can earn for good behavior. Or, we will give him with an unexpected prize when he has done something special that we want to recognize.

But there was nothing in particular to recognize at this time. In fact, Kai had a poor month at school throughout November. Our one-time hopes that he might attain the next level at school have all but vanished for now. He is back to having several major incidents per week.

So, there was no good excuse to get him the Lego set. It would have been easy for me to just decide that he did not deserve the present right now.

But something about that gnawed at me.

Between my wife and me, I am more likely to be the one to say that we should not get Kai a present. I am the one to argue that we are spoiling him if we give him things too easily.

But when I woke up Saturday morning, knowing it was December 1, I wanted to get that Lego set for him.

I didn’t want Mom to get it for him. I wanted him to know that I wanted to get it for him. And for him to know that it would not come with any conditions, but I wanted to give it to him just because it would bring him joy.

And so, after he woke up, I told him that we would go to the Lego store and get that advent calendar.

I think he could hardly believe it.

First, we had our weekly trip to the library. And then I took him to a birthday party. But after that we drove straight to the mall. He picked out the Star Wars calendar. And he was very happy.

When we got home, he made his first model from the set, a Gungan sub. Kai has not shown a great deal of interest in Star Wars until now, but somehow he knew what it was.

Two years ago, my wife gave him a different Lego advent calendar. At that time, he built all 24 models in one day. This time, he showed some restraint as he decided that he would build only one each day as intended.

The next day, as he was making the second model, he told me, “When I go to college, you can keep the set here.”

And then he added, “And when I get married, I’ll send you an email and you can bring this to my house.” That brought a smile to my face.

And I really smile as I see Kai smile that big smile of his every time he works on the Lego figure of the day. It makes me think that I made the right decision.

A dad should try to encourage his son to do his best, and reward him when he does.

But he should also let his son know that he loves him regardless.

Hopefully it didn’t take a Lego set to accomplish that. But I think it was a nice reminder.


  1. Perfect! I totally agree. Not all gifts must be rewards. Some are just because we love them! The lego advent calendar sounds like a lot of fun!

    1. When I was a kid, I got presents for Christmas and birthdays but not many "just because." It was fun to get this for Kai.

  2. I loved it! You are so right and he looks so happy! I am glad that you are going to be invited to his house when he gets married to bring the Lego set! :o)

    1. Geovana, I better hang on to this Lego set so that he invites me over to his house! :) I thought it was funny that he said he would email me.

  3. I loved when he said you could store his Legos and then take them to him at his house. That was funny. He is thinking ahead! :)

    1. I like how he assumes that he will go to college and then get married. It is very hard to imagine him as a grown up, or to think what kind of girl would marry him. :)

  4. I loved this post! I think you gained so much by this decision. I get too rigid sometimes and stuck with my goals in mind. There are times that my son needs to see the human, kinder side of me ;)

    1. Kelly, I know what you mean as I am exactly like that most of the time. But as Kai has continued to get such great joy out of doing the Lego figure of the day each morning, I am so glad I made this decision.

      Thanks for posting!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...