Eggs for your Birthday
“Hey, Cal can you write those Compassion International letters before dinner. I want to mail them off tomorrow,” I yell into the music room as the pasta steam gives me the housewife facial. The baby claps her spoon and sippy together as Mer peekaboos from beneath her highchair tray. Ash and Zim park-it smack in front of the fridge discussing current events such as, who lost the Lego Jedi head as they sip water which evidently was from a good year. How can anyone hear themselves think in this dinner rush of a family of nine?
“Both of them??” He looks lost as he weighs the two booklets in either hand.
“Yes one for you and the one for the baby…just consider that boy yours too.” The sauce starts to spit and burble flicking little red freckles on my white wall. I fling him a look , daring him to ask me any more questions and just to get on with it. Doing the right thing isn’t always blue glitter, I think to myself as I line up seven little bowls. Sometimes doing the right thing is just annoying…but who else will do it…so you do it. What world does he live in that everything needs to be fun to be worthwhile? The clanking of forks as the girls set everyones place for dinner snaps me out of my annoyance as everyone starts to mill about, ready to eat. Tapping the books against the side of his swim suit, he turns on his heel. He got my mental message loud and clear. I hand everyone their bowls of pasta and a domino of “Amens” sound off as each child prays over their food and those who prepared it. Deep sigh out as I enjoy the simple quiet which happens after you feed hungry mouths and before they begin talking about it as if they are on Iron Chef.
I sneak off to a nook of the house, just enjoying the peace; in he walks, “Now momma,” he says with the tone of a professor correcting a pupil’s paper. My brow furrows as I turn a quarter turn in my chair. “Now momma, it says here to enclose money if it’s their birthday. His birthday is in July so…”
Well this should be interesting, I think. I wonder what he would think a boy should get? I can’t imagine what my American son would think we should give this child half a world away. Wrapped up in how I will convey poverty so Cal can understand…I miss what he said…”Hmmm, I wasn’t listening sorry…”
Now it’s his turn to take a deep breath in, “I said…his birthday is in July so I am thinking I can give him twenty five dollars.” Cal taps his skinny eleven year old chest with his fist rightly where his heart is and the force of it brings tears to my eyes. “I made thirty dollars selling my chicken eggs at the organic stand this week…So I will give him twenty five of my earnings.”
“Sure sure, “I stammer trying to keep it together. Thinking of his little envelope of earnings from his first two weeks selling eggs….and he is willing to give so much away? I thought he would assume we would send the money for the child’s birthday. I thought he didn’t understand the significance of extra money going to such an impoverished family.
Cal didn’t even count this a loss…He counted this a gift. A gift he wanted to give and be responsible for. He didn’t falter, his look told me this was a done deal.
I am humbled.
There it is; Blessings aren’t always coated in blue glitter, sometimes they are hidden inside a few dozen hen eggs.