Today Katie brought home Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree from her school library. We have checked it out from our public library numerous times too. It's one of my all-time favorites. But we haven't read it for about six months or more, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it in her backpack this afternoon.
"Look, Mama: I got The Giving Tree," Katie said in a sing-songy voice like she was telling the dogs she'd brought home new Nylabones.
"Oh, I love that book," I said, picking it up and flipping through the pages.
"I knowed that. That's why I brought it home this week. Do you know why, Mommy?" She poked her face between me and the book.
"So I can read it to you on your birthday!"
"What?" I slammed the book down on the dining table and threw my arms around her. "Katie Bug! That is the sweetest, most thoughtful gift you could give me."
"I knowed that. I knowed you love that book."
"So did you just happen to see it at the library today and it made you think of my birthday, or had you thought about it before and planned this."
"What's planned?" Katie's eyes were big, like she didn't want to get the answer wrong on an important quiz.
"When you plan something you think about how you want to do something before you do it," I explained.
"I thought about it before, because I knewed you love this book and I want you to have what you love for your birthday."
I already have what I love every single day of my life: My heart is bursting with love for this child.
It reminds me of a few months ago when I was at work at the public library. A kid, about twelve or so, came up to the desk and handed me a book. He said, "I need to get my mom a book like this. Not this book but a book that she would like if she liked this book. She really liked this book. And today is her birthday and I don't have any money to get her a present so I thought I'd bring her home a book she would like."
My heart melted. What a great kid.
I often hear grumpy adults complain that kids today are bratty and spoiled, addicted to electronic devices and detached from the warmth of the real world. I don't see it. Give most kids a chance to make their moms happy and they'll find the most tender, thoughtful ways to do it.
I can't wait for Thursday! I'd been a little disappointed I had to share my birthday this year with Tom Turkey, but now that I know I also get to share it with Shel Silverstein and Katie Carleton, I'm counting down the days.