Claire

I picked up Claire, age 3, from Spanish class like I do every Monday after I spend the morning cleaning her house in Cary. She always gives me the same look, a first she’s disappointed that I’m not Mommy, but she quickly decides that I’m better than nothing and bounces out of the room to join me in the hallway.  I grab her hand and we walk (she bounces) outside to the car. I asked her if she had a wonderful day, and she replies “Ms. Bonnie, Ms. Bonnie, we made cookies today and put icing on them!!!”

Let’s stop and put ourselves in her shoes, when you are 3 years old and your sugar consumption is limited by your parents and your two nannies, this is indeed a wonderful day!

She was so so excited about her two cookies that she got to bring home. “Ms. Bonnie, you can have one of my cookies!!” she says.  Her generous offer put me in quite a dilemma, the dilemma being my recent discovery of  a severe dairy allergy and the copious amounts of butter in both the cookie and the icing.  I decided to explain to her that my doctor said that I’m not allowed to eat cookies and icing, and that they will give me a tummy ache. This blew her mind.  She kept insisting that I could eat a cookie and that it would be ok, I kept gently telling her that I really really couldn’t have one. I thanked her and praised her for her generosity.  I told her to give one cookie to Isabelle and she could eat the other cookie. This was not good enough for her. “You can have half my cookie, Ms. Bonnie,” she said.  By this time we had pulled up the driveway and were getting ready to go in the house and start naptime. “I really can’t eat it Claire” I said, “But I could take it home with me and give it to Mr. Brian” She loved the idea and we were both happy. I fully expected her to forget about the cookie and I didn’t plan to bring it up again when it was snacktime. She iced that cookie, and she should enjoy it!

Snacktime came two hours after naptime. Claire bounced down the stairs as cried out to her old sister, “Isabelle, Isabelle I have something for you!!” She grabbed the best looking cookie and handed to her 5-year old sister, whose eyes were wide a the possibility of eating sugar.  Claire took the smooshed chocolate chip cookie with pink icing and sat down to the table to eat it. She didn’t say anything about giving half of it to Mr. Brian, so I just watched to see what she would do. She took her cookie out of the bag, broke it in half, and carefully placed the other half back inside the bag. “Here you go Ms. Bonnie, you can take this home with you!”  “Is that for Mr. Brian?” I asked.  She insisted it was, so I suggested that she write her name on the bag. Yes, she is 3 and she can write her name. Sometimes the letters are scattered around in the wrong order, but she can do it. I wrote “To Mr. Brian” on the bag and put it with my things.  I told her that Mr. Brian would absolutely love his cookie.

It was adorable. “Mr. Brian” did love his half of a smooshed chocolate chip cookie with pink icing.  I meant to take a picture of the cookie, but to my surprise, he actually took it to work and ate it with his lunch.

I wish I were as generous and unselfish as a bouncy 3-year old who loves to eat sugar, but is perfectly happy and even excited to share half her cookie with her nanny’s husband.  This isn’t a heartwarming  “Christmas Spirit of Giving” moment, just a fun reminder of the boundless generosity of God and His desire for us to die to ourselves as a result. May you all be blessed with half-eaten smooshed chocolate chip cookie generosity.

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