I’m still the “Too Much Stuff” mom. I still hate the thought of my children receiving piles of plastic junk for Christmas that is either going to get stepped on or broken or eaten by a dog. I still don’t love the idea of gift-giving just for the sake of gift-giving rather than out of a genuine interest in another person’s needs and wants. I am currently sitting in our office, which is piled high with things to be donated and I find myself wondering where in the world it all came from when I try so hard to be intentional with what we bring into our home.
But my oldest will be 13 in January.
Slowly but surely, he has moved away from Legos and action figures to skateboarding and filmmaking. For Christmas this year he has asked for skateboarding gear and tech, a hoodie and some new Vans…and Legos.
I have giant tubs of Legos in my house. Thousands and thousands of Lego pieces have been stepped on, cursed at, and (don’t tell anyone!) sucked up into the vacuum over the years. There are so many Lego bricks in my house we could build a life-size model of my actual house with pieces to spare.
I know, however, that this could be the last year he wants toys for Christmas.
I try not to get too emotional about the passage of time. As the good daughter of a Marine Corps veteran, I don’t do feelings. Things are what they are no matter how you feel about them, so there’s no need to get teary-eyed over things beyond your control. But that sweet little boy who wanted all the toys and loved every single one he was ever given is getting too old for toys. I adore the man he is becoming — he is an incredible kid — but I can’t help being a little sad that those years are coming to an end.
I’ve found myself stopping just a little longer to listen to him tell me every last Star Wars fan theory or to show me his new Lego build. There is a little tug that says “slow down…” and, contrary to my usual reaction to that urge to slow down, I do.
I look at that growing half-man and feel a mixture of pride and sadness. I’m not ashamed to say I may go a little overboard this Christmas, just to soak up every last minute of his childhood.