25 December, 2013

Little Boys Never Quite Grow Up

While no man ever really wants to admit it, inside each one of us, there is still a little boy. Today, I saw that evident in my son, Daniel. To tell the story and it make sense, I have to go back 20 and a half years ago, to June, 1993. That year, as my family was preparing to go to our church Camp Meeting, I was asked to go pastor the Church of God in Danville, IL. My then State Overseer had asked me to not tell anyone about the move until after Camp Meeting was completed, even though we knew a couple of weeks before that the move would be taking place shortly after the Camp Meeting was completed. That was not huge thing for myself or my wife to keep it quiet... but we had a 3 year old son who was already excited as all get out because his baby sister was going to be born in less than a month as well. I made a deal with Daniel. I promised him that if he could not say a word to anyone about moving until after camp meeting, that I would take him to the store and buy him anything he wanted. I meant anything, and he was really excite about that.  He held true to his word and never said a word to anyone (other than his grandparents, who knew about the move), so after it was over and we made the move, we took him to the store. It was only then that I realized that I'd promised him anything... no limits. My wife was, shall we say, less than happy with me for that. As we were walking through Target, headed for the toys section, Daniel spotted a rack full of pillows that looked like fish. His hunt was over. He wanted one of those. I actually tried to distract him from that, but his mind was made up. We put the fish pillow in the cart, but headed back to the toys section to try to persuade him that he wanted something else, but his mind was made up. He wanted that fish. I tried to get him to trade the one he got for another one, because the one he picked out was just a little dirty... but he wanted THAT fish. I asked him, "so, what is your fishes name?"  Without missing a beat he answered, "Charlie!"  I laughed and asked him, "Does Charlie have a last name?"  Again, without really even pausing he said, "Workfish. Charlie Workfish."  I asked him why the fishes name was Charlie Workfish and he said, "Because he works hard at being a good fish."  That was the third week in June, 1993. From then until today, Charlie Workfish has been with Daniel. He even went to college with him. Charlie has weathered a fire in our house, being attacked and chewed on my the dogs... and he is a little thread bare with one eye slightly chewed... but he remains Daniels favorite childhood toy.

So... we fast-forward 20 years. About a week and a half ago my wife and I walked into Bass Pro Shop and they had these giant "Charlies."  I told her that we just had to get one for Daniel.  I really did not know if he'd like it or not. I was not sure if he might not actually resent a replacement for Charlie. Nonetheless, we bought the king size Charlie and wrapped him and put him under the tree. I sure wish I'd had had the video camera out, because when my 23 year old son opened that bag and pulled out this giant fish, I saw my 3 year old son for just a moment. It was absolutely priceless. His face lit up and he said, "It's a great big Charlie!" He hugged that pillow and said, "I'm done!"  As far as he was concerned, that was all he needed for Christmas. It nearly brought tears to my eyes seeing such a simple thing bring such joy to his life.  It's things like this that make being a parent so much fun. 

1 comment:

Kathleen Mchugh said...

Love the story as parent's we build memorie's withour little one's so we can have them when they are grown and sometime's share them as you have thank you I really enjoyed it