Presents and presence

At Valentine’s day this year I received a gift from a 3-year-old, delivered by her and her dad at the office door.  It was carefully wrapped with colorful paper and blue painter’s tape. Peeking out of one of the gaps in the paper was a plastic ring with a heart on it. 

“That’s for you.”  The little girl solemnly said.  

But that was not all.  Inside the wrapping was a picture made by this child, with stickers and plenty of her favorite color, pink.  I promptly put on the ring and hung the picture on my office door for all to see.

Throughout this interchange, the dad stood watching quietly, with a smile playing around his lips.  I was struck with how this parent honored his daughter, giving her the space, time and assistance to create and wrap this gift, and to give it to me in her own way.  In our hurried world, this gift of unhurried presence is often neglected.  This was the bigger present to both the little girl and to me — this gift of presence.