Ava will be 4 in two weeks… seriously, I can hardly believe it! And she is now reaching the age where she is old enough to start learning lessons about giving as well as receiving and it has been beautiful for me to watch the joy she gets from giving.
Last week, we had her schools Christmas party, as is tradition with this lovely little school, that we are going to miss sooo much next year when she moves on to “big” school, the party was about showing love and support to children less fortunate. A party venue was hired, picnic baskets were packed, the kids played their hearts out and were all very excited for Father Christmas to arrive. But he wasn’t bringing them gifts… each child had to give Father Christmas a gift bag for a child less fortunate.
The play school supports a charity called The Supper Club who provide meals and support to those less fortunate. We each got to choose as many large brown bags as we liked, we took two bags for girls aged 7 – 10, and were required to fill the bags with toiletries, sweets, toys, books etc. and once Father Christmas arrived, each child got a turn to go up and hand over their gift to Father Christmas to take to the children.
Ava absolutely loved the idea and was highly concerned about children who don’t have mom’s and dad’s.
On Wednesday, the school held a Christmas Market, every item at the market was priced at R20 and the children were taken in small groups to view all the items on sale and could then each choose a present for their mom’s and dad’s and then decorate brown paper and with the assistance of her teacher, wrap the gifts she had so carefully chosen.
Ava was beyond herself with excitement to show me the gifts that she’d specially chosen for Walter and I. She insisted that we open them then and there and refused to even hear that we wait until Christmas to open the gifts she had chosen for us.
Almost 4 years into my journey of motherhood and there are still moments that take my breath away, that remind me how blessed I am, I am a mother, I have children, after so many years of heartache and heartbreak, there are still moments when it is completely surreal. Opening Ava’s carefully chosen gifts was one of those moments, I was extremely tearful and will treasure my covered notebook with ladybugs for ever. Walter received a sweetie holder filled with sweets which Ava proudly announced was for them to share.
Watching her find joy in giving and not just receiving has been extremely rewarding and a very valuable lesson for her.
School photography by Catherine Scott Photography