Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Harry's Christmas Spirit

Harry grabbed my camera a few weeks ago and took this picture. Note the refrigerator and the empty magnet container.

Like all of us, Harrison likes other people’s things over his own. When he was really little, we discovered that we could take him to the train table at Barnes and Noble for hours on a cold Wisconsin evening. He loved it. For his second Christmas, we ran out and bought him his very own Brio starter set with the cool Pottery Barn train table. He liked it, but never as much as the one at the Hannah Andersson store or the bookstore. I can’t blame him. The ones at the store are always glued into the perfect configuration with the Round House and every wonderful extra imaginable.

In our neighborhood, Harrison is lucky to have four 5-year-old playmates within two blocks. Each of these playmates have MUCH cooler toys than we do. Then the inevitable started. Slowly at first. Harrison would express interest in a neighbor’s truck or dinosaur and it would be at our house for a visit. These visits lasted from a day to a week. Sometimes the toy would get to visit for a month, although these were usually only the loud toys.

One day a large white stuffed animal entered our home creatively named “Baby Seal”. Cute, yes, but LARGE and WHITE don’t really mix with our SMALL and DIRTY home. For about two months Baby Seal has been Harrison’s best friend. His original owner never really grew attached to Baby Seal and has willingly let him visit indefinitely. In fact his owner offered to give Baby Seal to Harry, but after careful consideration we decided that Baby Seal's aura would not be the same if Harry adopted him. It was much more special thinking that he was on loan. So the magic continues. Baby Seal goes everywhere with him. For the last six weeks or so, each Friday, for Sharing Time (a.k.a. Show and Tell) he “shares” Baby Seal. EVERY Friday. From what I can gather, he gets up in front of his classmates and just shows it to them. No dialogue. No seal facts. I think he thinks it’s just wonderful enough to carry itself without a lot of annoying verbal distractions. Baby Seal sleeps with him, goes on errands with us, and travels “home” every week or so for a time out. Yep, if Harrison gets in really big trouble, the worst punishment in the world is to send Baby Seal home for a time out.

There are definite benefits to having this large, cumbersome animal - with a large, cumbersome flipper that knocks off all the refrigerator magnets at least once a day – he cleans. His long fur is very conducive to picking up the dust on our hardwood floors. He is now a shade of grayish white. The only thing I can compare it to would be the color snow becomes, in mid-March, on the side of the road in Minnesota.

Tonight, while making dinner, I tried to distract the kids (as they were starting to get a bit stir crazy and wild) by asking them some questions.

Me: “What should we get Mr. P (Harry’s teacher) for Christmas?”

Harrison: “I know, I know!!! Baby Seal. Mr. P. LOVES Baby Seal.”

I was swelling with pride. My son was showing a completely unselfish and giving side of his personality. He was willing to give his most prized possession (well…it’s really Emma’s, but who’s keeping track) to his favorite teacher.

Me: “Oh honey, that’s so kind of you. Do you really think you want to give up Baby Seal?”

Harrison: “No, Mom. We have to get another one.”

It was nice while it lasted.

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