Naiya loves birthdays, gifts and cards. She enjoys them for herself, of course, but her pleasure and excitement are equal if not greater in the giving than in the receiving.
Last year for my birthday we were in the garden department of a local store when she saw some pink gardening gloves. At the time she had a pink obsession and declared that those must be my birthday gift. Daddy helped her wrap them for me when we got home.
Since my birthday is coming up again, she and daddy have been discussing some birthday ideas once more. A few days ago though, just she and I were at that same store and in the same department as last year. "Mommy," she says to me in a sly tone, "you have to look over there. Don't look at me." I wandered over to the birdseed. She came over a few minutes later with a pair of purple gardening gloves. Same as last year. New color. "Are these the right size?" she asks. They're not. I have giant man-hands so I help her pick out the large. She brings them back over and puts them in the cart under her hat. Apparently she has already forgotten that she showed them to me. "You can't look under here mommy. It's a surprise."
Later in the store she can hardly contain herself. "Do you know what I got you for your birthday!?" She makes me guess over and over but I just can't figure it out. At the register she hands them to this great cashier who I whisper to about their secret nature. The cashier wraps the gloves up in a separate bag so Naiya can carry them home herself. All the way home she makes me guess more and tells me that she and daddy are going to wrap my present together. They end up having to make a special trip the next day because they need a particular kind of bow.
The delight she takes in giving is so touching to us both. She is also surprisingly thoughtful. I do actually need new gardening gloves almost every year. For Ryan's last birthday she picked out towels. At first this seemed like an odd choice. We were in a store just before Ryan's birthday last summer when she saw them and I figured she just liked the colors or just wanted to give him something and that was what was there when the thought occurred to her. She explained to me though that she wanted these two particular beach towels because she and daddy often go swimming together and one was for him (the one with flowers like his work shirts) and one was for her (bright pink). A gift to make more special this activity that they already share.