In this holiday season filled with good thoughts, happy music and busy shopping I wistfully remember taking our first grandchild shopping.
He loved going to the toy store in town and gazing in wonderment at the colorful displays of toys set out for young children. We meandered through aisles filled with children’s books, stuffed animals and pull toys. He marveled at the mechanical toys and loved pushing the small wooden trains along the wooden railroad tracks.
When the time came to go back home he was content to leave the store with us. No begging to take a toy home, no crying tantrums for being forced to abandon a favorite object. He simply came willingly and unquestioningly with us.
I wondered about that; I couldn’t understand why he left the store so easily without a single protest about buying something.
Then it suddenly dawned on me. I understood. He had no concept of buying. It never occurred to him that going to a store filled with toys of every kind could mean bringing some of them home. This innocent child enjoyed playing with the toys in the store. There was no connection yet of seeing something you like translating into having to own it.
I often think, my heart full of love, of the innocence of a small boy happy and content to play with no need to own.
When did it all end?