Bud's festival of giving continues.
Yesterday I took him to the local pharmacy, which is a "catch all" kind of store that meets the needs of residents who aren't up to making the 40-minute drive to a box store, so that he could buy Christmas presents for Daddy, Nana, and Papa. I wasn't sure what to expect, but imagined that he'd head straight to the toy department to choose things that both he and his recipients might enjoy.
In fact, he never stepped foot in the toy department. He walked through areas of the store he'd never visited, picking things up, looking them over, and putting them back down. He made his decisions carefully, but decisively, declaring "This one is for Daddy!" or "Nana's going to love this."
We went home and wrapped the presents together, then he took them one by one to place them under the tree, where they stayed for about three hours, until he could stand it no longer and started delivering them to their recipients. We all gathered in the kitchen for the grand unveiling, in which Daddy got heart-shaped soap, Nana got a Christmas-tree shaped tube of shower gel, and Papa got a Christmas platter.
Bud's enthusiasm grew with each present that was opened, and with each shriek of delight that he heard. He hopped up and down, clapping his hands and laughing as we gushed over each present in turn. Then he ran to get two more presents, one for Daddy and one for me, that he'd made at school.
Dad got a lovely covered dish, and I got a book, written by Bud and bound in hardcover. It instantly became my most treasured possession, and once I have access to a scanner and can do it some sort of justice, I will share it with all of you.
Bud wanted to keep the good feelings going for as long as he could, and if one of us set down our gift he scurried over to hand it back to us. He suddenly realized that he was the only one among us without a present, so he dashed over to the kitchen counter, grabbed a gift bag, and tossed in the nearest item he could find: a bottle of Triaminic cough syrup. Then, with his own gift in hand, he joined us in the middle of the kitchen for a celebration of the spirit of Christmas, pulling us all together in a five-way hug.
It was a Christmas moment that will stay with me forever. The shower gel, the platter, the soap, the box, the book - even the cough syrup - are wonderful gifts. But, without question, the warmth and love that filled our kitchen because of them were reminders to each of us that Bud himself is the best gift of all.