My son turned 13 years old yesterday, and I thought he would like my present best.
The gift was a snack quilt that I had been working on for about six months. I sewed for hours while he was in school or late at night after he had gone to bed so he wouldn’t see the fabric, which featured gum drops, cheese crackers, pretzels, fruit and other snacks.
“I see hamburgers,” he said slyly as he ripped away the silver wrapping paper to reveal the quilt, which was bordered in hamburger fabric. He draped the blanket around himself, said “Thanks Mom,” and then set the cover aside to open more gifts.
I felt slightly disappointed by his reaction. No jumping up and down with joy? No declarations of the blanket being the best present ever? It was like he had opened a pair of socks.
Other gifts got more of a reaction.
He sang with excitement when he opened a drink cup, hot chocolate and handmade hand-warmers from his friend; his friend’s little sister colored him a picture, which he posted on the refrigerator; he played for hours with a remote-controlled helicopter from my mother.
“This is just so cool,” he kept saying.
Close to bedtime, we talked about his birthday and how much fun he had getting phone calls, how much he liked his cake and how thoughtful people were to send presents and gift cards. He was still playing with his helicopter when I headed toward the stairs. I mentioned that the house was cold, and it was getting late.
“I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a warm quilt to sleep under tonight,” he said.
I stopped and smiled.
“Yes, you do,” I said, watching his flying toy whirl above the sofa. “But I have to tell you, I thought you’d be more excited when you opened the blanket.”
“Mom, I love the quilt,” he said and landed his toy helicopter. “Besides, I’m sure it’s going to be here a lot longer than any of the other presents.”
Touched by his insight, I gave him a big hug.
I like the way this hamburger-and-snack-eating teen-ager thinks. And I’m especially happy that he liked his quilt.