American in Spain

Birthday Presents - Joy and Sadness

May 4, 2014

Yesterday, the prodigal son and daughter returned. There was much rejoicing. Ian finally got to open his birthday presents. He got a set of three pretty awesome – in my biased opinion – soft cars from his parents and some clothes and a little "pound the pegs" toy from my parents. Well, let's just say that one of the presents really "hit" home. One year old boys love pounding on stuff. First we let his sister tap all the pegs down as Ian watched, with his envy visibly building to the bursting point, and then we turned it over to him. I missed his first pounding session with the camera, but I caught the second on "film". He starts the video with his best Miley Cyrus impression.

Completely unexpectedly, I managed to catch the downside of birthday presents in the same video. His sister, Nora, received a little flower-shaped box designed for painting. Her cousin, Valle, who is two years old, was visiting, and had pretty much been given free reign over Nora's toys – really not much damage she could do. However, she found this painting box, which we had been saving since Nora's birthday a month ago to do as a project with Nora, and had begun painting it. Again, she'd broken no rules given to her. But Nora found that it had been painted, and, by total chance, had brought it to her mother to report as I was recording this video of Ian.

It's really touching to see her expression as it goes from, "Hey, this happened!", to realizing that her present had been violated in a way that meant that she couldn't be the first one to paint it.

I'm pretty sure that everyone that has lived to adulthood has experienced both these emotions, the utter joy of playing with a new toy and the dashed hopes of someone else being the first to sully your prized possession.