It was Christmas eve and I was eleven years old. Around the house were smells and sounds of years of Clarkson traditions coming to life. But there was only one thing on my mind…All the loot and awesome stuff I would be getting the next day.
I sat on the couch just imagining all the cool things most eleven year old boys dream of getting on Christmas. But as I stared at the tree just picturing all the amazing things that would be under it in just a few short hours, another thought crossed my mind. It was of how beautiful the room was I where I was sitting and how well placed and thoughtfully all the decorations were placed.
I heard mom in the other room frantically putting together our Christmas eve dinner, trying to let the carols on the CD player to distract us from the fact there were about one million things left to do. From wrapping gifts, to cleaning for family coming over, to making sure everyone one of us kids was feeling cared for in a thoughtful way–after all, it was Christmas Eve.
Also, worth mentioning, she had a husband who would be home from a long day at work who would be hungry. It was then something suddenly clicked. I got up off my seat, temporarily packed my mental list of loot away, and I ran to the nearest sibling with a driver’s license, and demanded a ride to the store.
In the spirit of the holidays I was given a ride. Upon my return, bag of treasures in hand, I found my mother still in a tizzy over everything that still needed to be done. I can only imagine her feeling as I walked in and said, “Mom can you come with me for a second I need to show you something.”
She paused briefly before getting back to never-ending list of things to do while saying, “Can we wait until later Nathan? I am very busy right now.” But I insisted, “Please mom it will only take a minute” She put down a roll of wrapping paper and with a deep breath and long sigh, agreed to follow me.
My eleven year old hand grabbed hers and led her into her room and sat her down on the couch in her bedroom, where I proceeded to pull my surprise from a Safeway bag. It was a one long stem red rose.
I handed it to her, and she took it with a question in her eyes.
I said, “Mom, I just wanted you to know that before you give any gifts to me or anyone, I love you. Before I get anything I want you to know I love you not because you give me stuff but because you my mom.”
Thank someone close to you today for something specific, not because they deserve it or because you feel like it. But I promise a simple acknowledgement of something can change your world and someone elses.
-Nathan J Clarkson
See my post at The Mob Society
New International Version (NIV)
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”