“The second best thing after a gift itself is the way of giving it” ― Ali Boussi
In the middle of the mom’s-been-rushed-to-the-hospital-with-a-UTI saga I thought that rescheduling our, now annual, Christmas in July celebration might be appropriate. But we could make it look a bit different she said. Ok? Let’s just be together. And so it was that I found myself with my best friend and her daughter at Kinchley’s on Friday night. Not the elaborate sleep over we had planned but a fun dinner at a place that defies gloom on every level. We ordered and while waiting they both began to fidget a bit in their seats.
We got something for you.
You did? I was genuinely surprised and they were both pretty happy with themselves about that fact.
Do you want to go first, no you go first. Should we give her this first or that first?
There’s a this AND a that?
From out of the bag emboldened with the words “shopping is my cardio” came the first something. Prefaced by the disclaimer: “you know we are big believers in “for nothings” so we found this at a tag sale in Lake George and we thought of you. All I heard was “we thought of you” and then the book came out of the bag. What else would you give a person so enamored with legacy but a book titled Pioneer Women, Voices from the Kansas Frontier. The introduction by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr alone made my heart skip a beat. I know I’m a history legacy crazy woman. But how perfect, even after the man holding the tag sale said all the good books were inside, these were just the cast offs.
Now which one? They looked at each other. Oh this one is really cool Aunt San. It was a book, no it is a book but they carved your initial out of it. It’s repurposed. And damn cool if you ask me I said.
This one’s from me. In the box were two spoons one small and one larger. I know where these are from, they looked at each other as if I were crazy or knew their every move, no not where you got them but where they’re from.
They are from Malaysia. I have a set very similar to them. Turns out on one of their pop-ins at a local antique shop (because after all one must get in their cardio) my dear niece exclaimed, look Mom, spoons for Aunt San. The spoons are wonderful but even more wonderful; I’m in there. There are references that only equate to me in that beautiful little girl’s mind and I had all to do not to…well you know. In my heart I hope that I was gracious in accepting these wonderful thoughtful gifts and not seem so selfish in my discovery that my legacy is growing with this future woman.
Dinner was fun; the movie we watched was fun. We three had fun. It was indeed a “cost nothing” kind of night that will forever be precious to me. I may not be the Aunt that comes to the birthday parties but I am the Christmas Eve Aunt, the cool in some weird kind of way Aunt, the Aunt that stands in for Grandmas that can’t make performances and the Aunt that collects spoons, pottery and chairs.
“Gracious acceptance is an art – an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving…. Accepting another person’s gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you.” ― Alexander McCall Smith
P.S. I stand corrected on the proper “nothing”. I was mistaken in thinking it was a “cost nothing” when it was a “for nothing” an even better nothing than the first. It remained a cost nothing kind of an evening however. Hopefully I’ve made it right this time.