When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, December 13, 2013

No surprises

A number of years ago I purchased a little wooden house with twenty-five numbered doors in it, as a fun way for the boys to count down the days until Christmas.  On the eve of December every winter, I fill the little compartments with special surprises (small squares of dark chocolate, coins, tiny toys or gadgets, and tickets for special activities or treats), and Noah and Will open one door each day until Christmas arrives.  This is a tradition that the boys and I still very much enjoy, even as they are growing older.  They still find it exciting to peek behind a door each morning and see what little treasure is waiting there for them.

This morning, Will and I were sitting at the breakfast table (Noah and Matt had already left to travel to Ottawa this weekend for a swim meet), and Will realized with a bit of regret that Noah was going to miss out on the opening of the little doors for the next few days.  I thought it was sweet that he was thinking of his brother, and I smiled kindly and told him that we would leave Noah's surprises there behind each door, so he could open them all when he returned.  This suggestion seemed satisfying to Will, and he returned to eating his toast quietly and studying the Future Shop flyer with intense focus.

A moment later, he looked up at me and suddenly blurted out, "I paid attention to which days we've been getting which surprises, and how many days there are before there's a repeat of something.  According to my calculations, we should be getting another one of those awesome coupons on December 20th."  And then he beamed at me with a proud grin.

Of course my boy whose brain loves patterns and logical ways of organizing things (just not the stuff in his room!) would be able to completely figure out my carefully planned placement strategy.  (I couldn't help myself -- my brain loves patterns and logical ways of organizing things, too.  And he's exactly right -- there are a certain number of days between each door that hides a repeated item!)  So much for surprises. 

I am going to have to work harder next year to keep Will guessing, I suppose.  Good thing I have twelve months to try and figure out a complex enough formula to baffle him. 


  1. This is the cutest thing I have ever read! I love coming here and reading about your amazing kids!!
    You are such an amazing mother and are raising such great young men, keep it up!!

    1. I'm not sure who you are, Anonymous, but I wanted to say thank you so much for your wonderfully kind comment! Your words just made my evening (and made me a little teary-eyed, too.) :)