Generousity of Spirit … and Legos

My son did something beautiful this Christmas. He gave a simple, pure, thoughtful, costly gift to his cousins.

Josiah loves Legos, because he is alive and a boy and because they are awesome. About a month ago, he also started getting really into rockets. Not sure what triggered it, but they too are awesome. So, he takes his Legos, and stacks them up into big tall towers, and they are rockets, and he flies them around the house.

A few weeks ago, he stacked up 3 big towers of Legos, and asked Gretchen to help him wrap them.


“This one is for my Zacky, this one is for my Jacob, this one is for my Joshua, these are for Christmas.” He wanted to give his Lego rockets away to the three boy cousins we would be seeing over the holidays.

For three weeks, we kept asking him if he still wanted to give them away. We wanted to make sure he understood that giving a gift meant the person gets to keep it, and you don’t have it any more. They were his Legos, he could give them away as presents if he wanted to, but if he did he wouldn’t be able to play with them anymore, they would belong to his three cousins instead. We weren’t trying to talk him out of it, but we did want to make sure he understood what he was doing.

He did, and he was unwavering. He wanted to give them away. So, of course, we let him.

And so, on Christmas Eve, he gave the most precious thing he owns away to his cousins, so that they could have rockets.

The last three months have been rough with him. He drops tantrums like crazy, and there is a defiant streak running through him. But there is also a purity of spirit, a part of him that acts without pretense or calculation. At the end of a hard few months, the gift of Legos was a gift to Gretchen and I too; it was a chance to see our son at his best, and draw renewed strength from that simply act of generosity.

5 thoughts on “Generousity of Spirit … and Legos

  1. Zack

    Two things:

    1. This made my day.

    2. Josiah can expect an actual model rocket from Uncle Zack the next time I see him. I grew up with ‘em, and they stoked my curiosity in aerospace and physics. And, they shoot into the sky using a small controlled explosion, so that’s cool, too.

  2. Karen

    What a sweet boy. Those moments when your children show that sweet, generous spirits are the best. I am glad for you and Gretchen and the gift that was given to you through that experience. :)

  3. Michelle

    That WAS a great gift to the two of you, and to his little cousins as well…yep, we all have our “tantrums” but to see this kind of character, well it would not only make me jump for joy, it would inspire meeeee, too!

  4. Eric

    Michael, that’s great. It’s amazing that kids can be more altruistic than adults sometimes. My daughter, who’s 17, insisted that she didn’t want any gifts for Christmas, and of course parent and grandparents kept after her for a ‘list’ until they got one: a donation to WorldVision of school supplies for poor US schools. Thankfully, grandparents (and reluctantly, parents, too) honored her request.


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