My 20th birthday was Sunday, June 27th. Daniel and I had a wonderful day here in Charlotte.
I got phone calls, text messages, and Facebook wall posts and lots of cards in the mail, too. I'm thankful for them all-- words are my love language! :) But the best gift I got was a couple days belated. It came very unexpectedly in the mail, with distinguishable 8-year-old handwriting on the envelope.
I opened it and read the card, which was a short and sweet little note from my brother, Nolan. I picked the envelope up to pitch it, but felt something inside weighing it down. Once I pulled apart the folds of the envelope I nearly cried when I found a quarter sitting there, just waiting to be found. I picked it out and set it down on top of the card, and then couldn't help but cry.
Nolan works hard for every penny he earns, and he religiously counts and saves it until he has enough to buy the next exciting item on his list. Quarters are his favorite, because they're big, they have different states on them, and they're worth the most out of all the common coins.
He couldn't have given me anything more special.
This is just like him too. He is so considerate and sweet. He thinks about what gifts to give, and what is the best way to give them. He wants each of his gifts to be thoughtful and perfect for the recipient.
One Christmas, even though he didn't have any money to buy a gift, it was absolutely necessary that he gave his best friend, his brother Nevin, a Christmas present. He thought about it for a little while, I'm sure, and then as if an epiphany hit him, one morning he knew what he was going to do. He took the empty Cheerio box, the scissors and scotch tape and set to work. He cut and tore and taped, and then ran to the basement to find wrapping paper. When Nevin opened this special present Christmas morning the whole room was quiet while watching the sweet childish exchange. It was a wallet. A Cheerio box wallet. It wouldn't really fit in a pocket. And it probably wouldn't last very long, but it was a wallet. It was adorable to everyone watching. Nevin's face lit up, and he understood immediately the specialness of this simple gift. "Thanks Nolan. I really, really love it." Nolan just smiled, and with his Yankee accent slurred, "You're welcome," but he sat on a little cloud for a moment longer, a bashful smile on his face, and his heart glowing with happiness.
He had given a good gift, and he had made his brother happy. That made him happy. And that is my precious baby brother. I am so thankful for him, and for his generous heart.
Almost 4 here-- sweet enough to kneel by flowers.
Seven-- such a sweet, protective big brother
And now he's eight. Wow.