Saturday, January 14, 2006

Polite lies

T. and I went to a birthday party today for a boy he knows through the hs co-op. T. and Ed went to Toys-R-Us this morning to get the perfect present (perfect and utterly desirable in T.'s eye's, that is), and we went to the party at noon. The birthday boy's mommy had bought light-sabers for each guest, and the children (there were quite a few) spent three hours running around the yard wacking each other and putting on their little golf green, with breaks for eating pizza and birthday cake. It was a beautiful, cool afternoon, and everyone had fun. When it came time for the birthday boy to open his gifts, though, I was reminded of the importance of the "polite lie." T's gift was opened last, after all the gifts from the neighborhood buddies and all the cards. T. was almost bursting with excitement as his gift was finally unwrapped, and then I watched his expression change from happy anticipation to puzzled disappointment as his offering was regarded briefly with utter indifference, and then tossed aside. The birthday boy went back to counting and re-counting the cash he had received (apparently it is common in his circle to give large sums of cash instead of toys), then playing with some Legos. T. showed him the gift again, saying hopefully "Isn't it the coolest," but all he got in response was a grunted "it's okay." T. seemed a little "down" for a few minutes, but was soon back to playing happily, but my pleasure in the day was greatly diminished. Manners really are important.

1 comment:

Dy said...

oh, that just breaks my heart. I am proud of your thoughtful, enthusiastic little guy, though. What a sweetie!