The Real Gift
Nelson was worried. He had been worried about something all week and this afternoon, it was going to happen. During clean-up at church school, he decided to talk to his teacher, Lilia.
"Nelson, is everything okay?" she asked.
"Well, not really. My Nana Elsa is moving in with me and my dads today."
"It sounds like you do not want her to move in," Lilia said.
"Our house will be too crowded," Nelson said. "And now I will have three grown-ups telling me what to do. My grandmother, and my dads."
Lilia took a minute to think. Then she said, "You know, Nelson, both your dads are my friends, and I know your grandmother, too. I know they all love you very much. It may take time to get used to her living with you. But, I think it is important that you welcome Nana Elsa, even though you are worried." Lilia said.
"Welcome her? Why? She is already in my family," Nelson said, puzzled.
"Nana Elsa may be worried today, too," said Lilia. "She is moving into a home where three people already live. She might be worried that you and your dads don't really want her there. It will be important to let her know that you do love her."
Nelson thought Lilia was probably right. Nana Elsa might be feeling worried, today too. When he got home, Nelson made a card for his grandmother. He drew himself, his dads, and Nana Elsa standing in front of their apartment building. He wrote, "Welcome, Nana. I love you, Love, Nelson." He brought the card into the extra bedroom where his grandmother was putting her clothes into the dresser drawers.
"Hi, Nana. I wanted to give you something," he said.
"Oh, thank you very much Nelson," she said. "I love this card. I wanted to give you something too, but then I thought it would be better for us to make it together."
"Make what?" Nelson asked.
"May I teach you how to crochet? It is easy. We could make a small blanket together, to put on your legs when you watch TV," Nana Elsa said.
"Can I pick the color? I really like green," Nelson said.
The next day, Nelson and his grandmother walked to the craft store and bought green yarn and crochet needles. For two weeks, almost every day, Nelson sat with Nana Elsa after school, talking and crocheting. When the blanket was finished, Nelson took it to church to show Lilia.
"Wow, you made that with your grandmother?" Lilia said. "That sounds like fun, and, it looks warm."
Nelson loved that blanket. He took it everywhere with him. Because he took it everywhere, one day when he wanted to take it to bed with him, he couldn't find it. Soon the whole family was looking for it. But the green, crocheted blanket was gone.
At bedtime, Nelson was still upset. Nana Elsa sat on his bed and held his hand. "Nelson, I hate to see you so sad," she said.
"But Nana, we made that blanket together. I love it so much, and now it's gone!" he cried.
"I know you feel bad, But you know, Nelson, the most important gift was not the blanket," said his grandmother. "It was the time we spent making it.
"You made me so happy when you welcomed me into your home. I wanted to spend special time with you making something and we did that. The real gift was the time we spent being together. We will always treasure that time and our love for each other and our family."
Nelson looked up at Nana Elsa. He rubbed the tears away from his face. He realized his Nana was right. The time they spent together was the real gift. And he realized he was glad, now, that his grandmother lived with him and his dads.
"I love you very much, Nana," he said.
"I love you very much, too, Nelson."