Friday, October 21, 2011

Jack's Gift

     I swim at the public pool on weekday mornings at seven a.m.  On the way home on Fridays I swing by the bakery section at Albertsons because—well, you know why. (A clue is in the title of my blog.) Anyway, this morning I was marching toward the delicious donuts and pastries when I encountered five year old Jack and his grandpa. 
     “It’s Jack’s fifth birthday today,” Grandpa said, grinning at me. “He’s picking out donuts for his party this afternoon.”
     I returned the smile and waited patiently while Jack made his selections. I must admit that little Jack had been trained on how to handle donuts; he properly made his selections using the provided tissue papers. His little pink hands didn’t touch any, although a few donuts squished like Play-Doh in his grasp. Jack selected two dozen tasty treats. He grabbed anything dripping with chocolate or covered with colorful sprinkles or swirls. 
     Just as he finished loading his box I joked, “Are you going to leave any good ones for me?”
     Jack hugged Grandpa’s leg for protection and didn’t say anything. 
     When they walked away to pay the cashier I made my selection. It was fortunate that before entering the store I’d decided on bran muffins because, well, you can guess why. Jack hadn’t chosen any muffins so I was left with an ample selection. I grabbed a few and bagged them. I couldn’t help noticing that Jack’s box of donuts had looked like a party in a box while my selection hung in a plastic bag like dog poo.
     In spite of the early hour there was a long line at the cash register. Another register 
was opened and shoppers moved over to it. I found myself in line behind Jack and his grandpa.
     Jack, still eying me cautiously, focused on the brown lumps dangling in my bag. He moved away from Grandpa, walked up to me and said, “I’m sorry; I guess I did take all the good ones. If you want, you can have some of the donuts in my box.”
     I was on the verge of explaining why I needed bran this morning but decided against it. “Thanks, Jack. But I’m fine with these muffins. Have a happy birthday today.”
     He smiled at me and waved goodbye as Grandpa paid for the donuts and led him away.
     Thinking about Jack and his generosity will warm me for the rest of the day. Although it’s Jack’s birthday, a day when he will undoubtedly be showered with presents, I’m certain that today I'm the one receiving the best gift.

When was the last time you received a gift from a child? 


  1. The day the paternity test said negative!!! and that little monster was officially not mine... but as for yours... Happy Birthday Jack.

  2. That was soooo sweet (pun intended?). hee hee

    My now 8 year old son told me he wanted me to have half of his birthday money sent by Grandma and Grandpa.


  3. What a delightful story and I agree that you are the one that got the greatest gift.

    Kids are amazing if we allow them to be.

    Have a terrific day and weekend. :)

  4. Children can give without no thought of reward. Wish adults were the same.

  5. Nice to know a young mind is able to sort it out and think of others. What a nice boy.

  6. haha, thats indeed sweet, im always amused of how kids see the world around them

  7. A sweet boy, obviously being raised right.

    I don't have many children in my life right now, but I have many memories of my son's and my nephews' generosities...

    Lovely bit of writing!


  8. That is so heartwarming. Jack is more generous than I would be, especially on my birthday. Wish I could give him a big hug.

    When I wrote and posted a poem for my nephew (age 4) a few weeks ago, he said "Thanks for the story. I love you so much." I'll never forget that. Kids teach us about love in ways we've forgotten.


  9. What a charming story to share! But now I just know I'll have to go get donuts in the morning...

  10. so sweet! I love your story, Stephen.

  11. Oct 21 2011 was my hubby's birthday, he is such a gentleman and our only child was always mindful of others..she always shared, being an only child she came home from many a home telling me of how all her friends had to practically give the youngest everything they had in the way of toys, dolls, money clothing, they were middle children of huge families..I got a kick out of the fact everyone always came to our home and I treated them royally, no wondering if they would even get much at dinnertime, no they are like princesses just like our only child.Our only is single with a lovely miss ellis cat, travels the world, buys what she wants with her paychecks, saves religiously and many are generous to our sweet angel, she was born right after her dad's 30th birthday, he said one of the happiest days in his entire life, right after the wedding (4 1/2 years later) I mean 4 1/2 years before the princess arrived!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Children speak the truth and are taught to be kind, most are kind and they say what they are thinking, too bad time and circumstances make them jaded as they become adults, our only has the same 3 gals from pre-kindergarten as friends..they all act like they did when they were wee ones, kind, loving and your blog it always reminds me of the truth and in all its glory!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. The last gift I remember is when my Granddaughter came to visit me without me even asking her to. She is not a child any longer, but will always be a little girl to me. Anyway, she called and said she was going to stop by. She also ask what we were having for supper...... hmmmmmmmm maybe that is why she stopped. LOL... doesn't matter. She stopped.

    What a great little kid Jack is!!