Monday, November 17, 2008

Beat the Pizza

With BJ out of town, I'm not really inspired to make dinner. Last night, after a boring (COLD) day at home, we ordered pizza. The girls had strewn toys all over the house, so I invented a new game...

"Let's play 'beat the pizza,'" I said, in my most excited voice. "Let's see if we can get the living room and the kitchen cleaned up before the pizza gets here!!" So we ran around, cleaning up toys and yelling "Hurry! Hurry!" Even Claire got into the act. It was kind of fun.

We finished picking up in record time, and I saw that they'd gotten all the "guys" out of the bin in the corner and thrown them all over the toy room.

"You know," I said to Mary Grace, "we have a lot of guys that we don't really play with anymore. Wouldn't it be nice to choose some to give to children who don't have any toys to love, so that they could be happy for Christmas?"

"Yes Mommy!"

"Ok, let me go get a bag..."

I really expected it to be a fight, because Mary Grace LOVES her guys... But she was so generous. She really looked at each one carefully, and said things like, "I don't really love this one, but someone else will love him!" and "This one will be nice for a boy who doesn't have a dinosaur..." I was so impressed with her. No tears. No arguing. In fact, I was the one saying, "My Aunt Carolyn made that one for you - we can't give him away," and "No, honey, let's keep the ones with names..."

We filled up two garbage bags with "guys" and BJ and I are trying to figure out somewhere (a hospital, a shelter?) where she can take them and actually give them to kids. Any suggestions?

Later, long after I had put them to bed, I was lying in bed myself, freezing and missing BJ. About 10 minutes after I got in bed, I heard a door open and footsteps. When she got to my door and realized that I was awake, I heard Mary Grace start to cry. She knew that if I was still awake, I'd put her back in her own bed.

"C'mere honey," I said. She stayed in the hall. "Mary Grace, come get in bed..." She headed back for her room. I sat up. "No, honey, come get in MY bed."

"Really?" she sniffed.

"Yeah, I'm cold and I need a snuggle. Come here."

We cuddled up together. Her warm little perfect body pressed tight against my big cold imperfect one. She rolled around for a minute, trying to get comfortable.

"I was really lonely. I'm glad you came in," I said to her.

"I love you, Mommy," she said, sighing, and settling into sleep, her little arm wrapped around me.

Yeah, rules are made to be broken. Especially late on a chilly fall night.


Mimi said...

I would look for a Toys for Tots in your area. That or a local school may be doing a program such as Christmas for kids and they are always looking for donations.

Katie Kermeen Swisher said...

So sweet! I love a nice snuggle on a cold night. As for the toys: you might want to check with a children's home. I know that there is a United Methodist children's home in Lebanon, IN. They might love to have some of those guys!

RobMonroe said...

We're taking our toys and cothes that have been outgrown to a women's shelter. They are always in need.

Toys for Tots is also good.

Anonymous said...

Can the toys be cleaned? I think you'll have a tough time trying to donate them to a standard Christmas-season charity or a daycare sort of facility since they're obviously used. How about Goodwill?
Kudos to MG, and to you.

Sarah M. said...

Awww that is so sweet!!

amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay said...

that is lovely- really babe! sweet.

Anonymous said...

FYI Toys for Tots only accepts new toys.

Kathryn said...

The homeless shelter in Grandmaland has a lot of little kids that would absolutly LOVE MG's guys!!!!

Susan said...

What a nice thing to do. I liked the suggestions given so far: Women's shelter, homeless shelter, children's home,etc. Another thought is a children's hospital or the children's wing of a hospital. What a wonderful way to show your children the real meaning of Christmas.
I'm glad you let Mary Grace snuggle. Sometimes that is really important. They grow up too quickly.

Erin said... sweet!

I think I might run the guys through the washing machine just so they are clean when you do give them away.

Oh, don't forget about Operation Christmas Child! That's a good one too, but typically you fill up a shoe box worth of a variety of things. Just an idea though! :)

di said...

Salvation Army in your area. Many families go there for assistance, in all ways, year round.
Love your wonderful, sharing idea.
Way to go Mary Grace!