The Truck

12 Aug

My son’s 4th birthday is coming up. I wrote this last year and am reprinting it now:

My dad bought RJ a remote control truck for his third birthday. As I knew he would, RJ loves it! And, as expected, he doesn’t really know how to work the controls.

A few days before the birthday, my dad started talking about this special gift he ordered. He wouldn’t tell anyone what it was because it was a huge surprise and it was super special!

As the days passed, we got more and more information about this awesome gift…it cost 30 dollar, it has expensive batteries, he’s going to love it, etc.

Every time he talked about the present – this amazing present for his wonderful grandson – I felt myself getting annoyed. I get a few dollars on or around my birthday every year but he’s never bought ME a present! He bought my mom a few big things 25 years ago: a sewing machine, a microwave. But when he couldn’t afford big things anymore, all gift giving stopped. My mom used to buy stuff for herself at Christmas and give it to my dad who would bring it to my brother and I (as if he bought it) and we would excitedly wrap it up and put it under the tree. I felt SO bad when I found that out, not that my mom wanted me to feel bad.

As an aside, I just celebrated my 29th birthday. Every time I see my dad, he says, “You just had a birthday! Don’t worry, your present is coming!”. I wish he’d quit talking about and hand over the cash. I really need those 29 loonies!

Anyway, this man who hasn’t given anyone a gift since 1985 or so actually got my son a birthday present. Yes, I’m annoyed, but I’m also quite impressed because that means he was thinking of someone besides himself for once.

There was much hype and hoopla in the days leading up to the unveiling. Steak was going to be cooked; the family would be assembled. I guess the first gift bought in twenty five years is a big enough deal to warrant a family dinner. My mom and I just hoped RJ would like the gift and not prefer the packaging, as some children are wont to do.

So the day came and RJ definitely loved the remote controlled truck. But no, he can’t work the controls properly. My dad spent the better part of the evening (as he got progressively more drunk) lamenting the fact that RJ was too young for the truck, “I made a big mistake.”

So, I guess – despite the fact that RJ loves it – this whole gift giving thing was a flop. Maybe, in another twenty five years we’ll get something else out of him.

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