Kids seem to instinctively know that the way to please a father is subtly different than the way to please a mother. I’ve already mentioned that for Mother’s Day, our kids offered up sentimental, handmade cards as gifts, and that was sufficient. But for their papa, they seemed to know that there would have to be something . . . more.
The Boy said to me last night, “I won’t make a card for Papa. He doesn’t need one.” Instead, he gathered up four or five of his favourite trucks and tractors, shoved them into a sparkly red gift bag, and tied a simple white ribbon on the handle of the bag. Voilà—a perfect gift from son to father (which of course, he dumped on the ground to play with, right in front of the recipient’s eyes, five minutes before the gift presentation).
But our Girl—now there’s someone who knows exactly how to give the perfect gift, by putting in a lot of thought. She had started a month ago, devising a special Father’s Day card, which would reveal the location of the gifts if the recipient knows how to read the colour-coded words. A scavenger hunt on Father’s Day—of course, some kids have figured out that adventure and intrigue are exactly the sort of things that a father wants on his special day. But there was more. Together, the Girl and I had decided that a fun gift to their father would be to type and print out an entire eight-chapter story that Beloved Husband had written when he was a teenager. I had talked about it half-seriously with the Girl, thinking that she would forget about it, and I would end up doing all the work. Yesterday, she e-mailed me her contribution: a week’s worth of typing—all of the first three chapters.
I’m pretty sure that BH was pleased with his Father’s Day gifts today. He doesn’t know yet how much work and effort was put into the typing of the story, until I tell him. But I know that to me, seeing all the effort and love that our Girl had put into it, I feel like I had received a gift today, too.