Christmas of 1980, I was in the 4th grade and had just turned 10. I don't really remember what I wanted for Christmas, but I do remember that it was toys. I know I probably got Hot Wheels cars and a garage/service center playset. I'm sure I wanted Star Wars toys even though I hadn't seen the movie at that point.
Seeing as how Thanksgiving is the day after tomorrow, I've started thinking about what to get the boys for Christmas. Jacob is easy: toys, toys, toys. Nate is tougher. It feels like he thinks he's gotten too old for toys. He is 10 and in 5th grade. The same age, but a different grade than I was back then. You'd think we might have similar desires when it comes to Christmas presents.
I asked Nate tonight while we came home from Mt.Vernon in the Jeep. It was just him and me....
"So, Bug," I've called him Bug pretty much since we picked his name, "what's on your Christmas list this year?"
"You won't like it," he said.
"Why not? What's on it?" I asked.
"It's expensive stuff."
"Wow, okay" I began, "It's not really up to me what Santa can and can't bring." I could practically hear his eyes roll from the backseat. "What kind of expensive stuff?"
$100 dollars for headphone for the kid who just lost his set of earbuds only to find them in his back pocket. "What's so great about Beats?" I ask.
"I don't know," he said. "They're wireless."
"These," I said holding up my Bluetooth headset I just happened to have with me, "are wireless. You want Bluetooth headphones?"
"Do they get music?"
"Sure. That's why I got them."
"They aren't Beats. I want Beats."
"What else do you want?" I asked with my own eyeroll that he couldn't see.
"A LeBron basketball. I know that's only like $25."
"That's two things," I said. "What else is on your list?"
"I don't know. Its too hard to think of things."
I guess it is a really good thing that we are able to give our kids pretty much whatever they like. The poor kid gets all stressed out if we allow him to buy something as a reward for good behavior or as payment for a chore. Just this past weekend, he was a big help hauling logs to be split for firewood. When we told him that he got to pick out something as a reward, you'd think we also told him that if he didn't pick something out he was going to be kicked out of the house.
I love that boy with all my heart. I just don't really understand him. I'm sure that my parents never understood me either. Heck, I'm certain they still don't.