Oh, the Stuff Love Does (Part II): A Birthday Present for Gigi
Our Gigi girl turns eight today.
I don’t believe it.
How can this screaming, colicky, red faced, “ultra-intense” baby (as a doctor—deliberately not chosen as our pediatrician—once called her), this infant of unimaginable neediness–how can she be turning eight?
She is a miracle.
I could type word after word to describe who she is in the world’s eyes, all her gifts, her school accomplishments and awards, her pretty hair and sweet smile. But I don’t want her for a second to think that’s even what we begin to treasure about her, so I won’t.
Instead, I’ll tell you what she decided at dinner last night.
We’d just got home from ballet, and she had her face inches away from a bowl of steamy noodle soup, in hopes it would clear her sinuses from this nasty virus we’ve been fighting in our house. I mentioned something to Chris about how ballet class felt a little bit strange, as the girls are preparing for their Spring Performance, which happens to be Wizard of Oz.
Gigi is a munchkin. Her friend Lucia is a part of the tornado.
I instantly picture a grade school. A teacher stretching out her arms as far and wide as she possibly can to cover her kids in the ultimate “act of God.” My throat catches and I put down my fork.
“Mom? Dad?” Gigi slurps a noodle and looks thoughtfully at us. “I want to do something to help those people who were in the tornado.”
And so we start brainstorming. Ideas are thrown out. Ideas are drawn out. Some more than others.
Gigi decides to bravely ask her ballet teacher if she can put out a collection jar at the entrance of the Spring Performance to collect money to give to the Red Cross for aid in Oklahoma. An email is crafted, one hand pecked letter at a time.
Her teacher responds.
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
Operation Oklahoma, on Gigi’s eighth birthday, is born.
There has never been a prouder mother than Gigi.
Except for me.
I chip in money from my grandma that’s been on my kitchen counter since my birthday for two weeks ago. Chris chips in $5 Bob Goff gave him to do something with in the name of Love. This is it.
“And Mom?” she says to me this morning.
“If I get money for my birthday I’m going to give it to the Red Cross for Oklahoma.”
Like I said, she is a miracle.
If you’d like to give Gigi a birthday gift, please donate to the Red Cross in any amount you are able. And if you could leave a comment below to let her know you supported Operation Oklahoma, you would bless her heart.
Prayers to all of those who are hurting in Oklahoma. Our hearts are with you.