Unexpected gifts

Cat chalkboard from Booth Design England

My youngest son likes to surprise me with little gifts and gestures. He’s both young and old for his years at the same time, and is naturally generous. For a boy of nine, he’s often surprisingly subtle in his delivery. Such as when I came out to my kitchen one morning and found these beauties from our greenhouse, just waiting for me.

Small basket of tomatoes and a bunch of kale

Sometimes he’s more forthcoming, but I just don’t get his cues. Like one day recently when I talked to him on the phone when I was in the ‘big city’ for a day of meetings, and he kept asking if I’d checked the mail box. I didn’t catch on until the next day when I found this at the back of it, behind the leaflets and letters. And he never said a word.

Christmas decoration made from an old CD

Naturally, I made a fuss when I finally found it and made sure he knew how lovely I thought it was, all the while feeling guilty that I was daft enough not to pick up on the anxious queries about checking the post. Anyone else doing any distracted mothering?

All this may explain why he was a little bit more direct in his approach recently when he had occasion to give me several tiny stubs of chalk to use on my little chalkboard in our mudroom. He’d pilfered these used up bits in class and figured I needed chalk, as I hadn’t use the board in a number of months (he was right). We had a little chat about whether his teachers knew properly about his decision to relieve them of these little leftovers, which was a good conversation to have. The little devil clearly hadn’t asked. Though it’s hard to imagine any busy teacher with boxes of chalk at their disposal missing these miniature stubs nearly as much as I love them. Right?

Chalk ends on ledge of cat chalkboard


Incidentally, the cat chalkboard was a thrift store find costing no more than 50 cents, if I recall correctly. Taking these photos was the first time I noticed the name of the company that produces them at the base of the chalkboard, Booth Design England. Now I’m wishing I had little children again so I could justify buying this one.

And no, I still haven’t planted the damn garlic.

6 thoughts on “Unexpected gifts

  1. I love this story too. I’ve had similar surprises over the years, and they touch me every time. The cat chalk board is wonderful – my excellent mouser is a black cat.
    Franklin the turtle (your boy is wayyy past Franklin I know), had an interesting dilemma in one book over the concept of “finders keepers” – what’s ok to keep when you find it and what’s not? I think we came across this story when my eldest was 6, but I remember how the discussion kind of jolted me too – prone as I was at the time to acquiring pens from the office, absent mindedly brought home, and never returned.

    1. You are so lucky to have a mouser; our older boy is allergic to cats, so that’s one creature we don’t get to have around our place. Gosh, Franklin stories – I have such fond memories. My older boy in particular loved those books. It was a camera in that story, wasn’t it? Thanks for the reminder!

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