He’s a Good Kid

A couple of weeks ago, Sam brought home some Scholastic book order forms from school. I looked through them, but there wasn’t anything I particularly wanted to buy, so I put it in the recycling bin.

A couple of days after that, Sam asked where I’d put it. I assumed he just wanted to look through it and was going to ask for a book. I dug it out of the paper bin and gave it to him. Not too long after, he showed up with the order forms partially filled out and $49.

See, he’d been saving up his birthday money and allowance and now had more than $100. And he wanted to use a big chunk of it to buy books.

For Christmas presents for his family.

Of course, the first thing I did was melt, because, well, how amazing in so many ways was that?

Then I tried to convince him to save his money and that if he wanted to buy us gifts, I would take him to the dollar store so he wouldn’t have to spend so much. That led to a long, emotional conversation during which he made the very astute point, “Why can’t I do what I want to do with my money?”

I had no answer for that. So I helped him do a little bargain shopping and we found some better deals on some books on Amazon, but he still ended up spending nearly $50 on gifts for Jack, Quinn, Alex, and me. AND he insisted on going to the dollar store to buy additional gifts for all of us as well.

Through all of this, there was no, “Aren’t I nice?” and no “Now Santa will see how good I am,” or any other self-interested action.

Except for when I had to cut him off from reading the book he bought for Jack so he could wrap it.

Just a second, Mom.

And wrap it he did. He picked out the paper, he picked out the ribbons, he taped the packages all up. He carefully chose tags based on each person’s personality. He broke my heart (in a good way) with all the joy he took in buying and presenting these gifts.


How unbelievably sweet is he? Every once in a while it occurs to me that maybe, just maybe, Alex and I aren’t totally fucking up our children.

31 thoughts on “He’s a Good Kid

  1. THAT is awesome! i love to get those kind of confirmations in my parenting (they seem to come all too rarely!). my daughter took the $5 we gave her for the holiday gift store at school and carefully figured out how to pick out something for her sister, brother, dad and me. and then got herself something too!

    while i’m sure the gift isn’t anything i’ve been dying to have, i’m amazed at her thoughtfulness!

  2. What a gorgeous story. Talk about the true meaning of Christmas. And I’m with *m*, you’ve done far more than not “totally f-ed up” your kids if you have a son who spends his money on books for his family. Your blog will hereby be known as my how-to manual for raising a “good kid.”

  3. Ack! Warn a girl before you post something like this. He’s not a good kid. He’s a crazy good kid. That’s it, Sam gets his own file entitled “Ways Sam caused my heart to grow three sizes”.

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