“Whatchya doin’ Gramma?” Jacob’s chubby little face with those inquisitive brown eyes was too cute to not kiss. He wriggled in embarrassment as I planted a Gramma kiss on his cheek. “Ooo, yuck! I not a baby. I a big boy, Gramma!”
“Oh, Gramma knows what a big boy you are, Jacob. You talk like you’re six years old! But you’re still four, right?” He nodded in ascension. “I’m wrapping a Birthday Gift. Wanna help me? You can give me the tape there.”
“You going to a birthday party?” His eyes twinkled at the thought of a party.
“Yep, Gramma and Jacob and Mommy and Daddy and your uncles are coming here for a big old birthday party next week! We’re gonna have tacos and fried beans and Spanish rice with our birthday cake and ice cream! Sound good?”
“Uh huh! Who the birthday boy? Jacob?” He was looking more and more hopeful by the minute now.
“No, honey, your birthday is in April, remember? You had that big birthday party and all your friends came. Remember? You were in the park and you got lots of Spider Man toys?”
“Uh huh. Who this present for?”
“It’s for Jesus! You know about Jesus, right?”
“Yep, I go to bed, Mama wake me up in da mornin’ and I give God the glory glory!” His chest puffed out in pride and his hands were up in the air. He was pumped with excitement.
“Well, Christmas is when we give a Birthday Party for Jesus!”
“Huh?” His forehead was all crinkled now and his eye movements told me his brain was working over time. “Jesus come, too?”
“Oh, yes, Jacob! Jesus always comes to His Birthday Party! Do you want to give Jesus a present, too?” I kept wrapping while he mulled that one over. “We’ll wrap it up real pretty and then Daddy will open it up when we have our Christmas Party Dinner!”
“What you give Jesus?” He still seemed puzzled as he tried to reconcile Jesus being in a cattle feeding trough with Jesus as an adult on The Cross.
“Well, this year, Gramma is giving Jesus some songs for old people who don’t have any one to love them.”
“You wrapping a song in there?” Now he was really puzzled! “It a CD?”
“No, no CDs, just Gramma is playing the piano and singing for some older Grammas and Grampas at the place where they live. See, Jacob, some people are lonely and they think no one cares if they are old and lonely. You remember how lonely you were when your Daddy was in the hospital? Remember how you cried and said you wished your Daddy would come home?”
“Uh huh. He gone a long time, and I talk to him on the phone. You gonna take Cookie with you when you go to the old people?”
“Wow, Jacob! That’s a very good idea! How did you think of that?”
“Old people like dogs. I know that! I’m almost five, Gramma!”
“Yes, you’re getting to be a real big boy! You could come with me to see the Grammas and Grampas if you want. They love little boys like you!”
“I no little boy. I a BIG boy!” He asserted himself with his words, his tone, and his beating on his chest. “How do you put the old people in this box?”
“Oh no, honey. Gramma writes a promise on some paper. It says, ‘Because You love me, Jesus, I promise to visit the old people and sing all the songs they like to hear.’ You know how you like Veggie Tales songs? Well these grammas and grampas like songs they heard when they were young, like your Mama.”
“What the name of songs?” He was playing with the ribbon now.
“Well, there’s ‘Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree With Anyone But Me’, and ‘Jada, Jada, Jada Jada Jing Jing Jing!’”
“Oh, Gramma, you so silly!” Jacob was bent over laughing now. “That silly song! Jada Jing Jing Jing, A ha ha!”
“Yeah, but it makes them happy, Jacob! Gramma wants to make them happy! So what do you want to give Jesus for His Birthday? Let’s think of something good!”
“I could give Light’ning McQueen car. I got two.” He looked at me for approval.
“Well, Jesus might already have one of those, so let’s think of something only Jacob could give to Jesus… let’s see… I think I’ve got it! You could promise Jesus that you would tell Him you love Him every night when you’re saying your prayers. That would be a good gift!”
“He already know dat. I give him a song, too, Gramma. I sing ‘Jesus loves me this I know cuz the bible tell me so!’ You think Jesus like a song for His Birthday?”
“Oh, yes! Jesus loves music! And you know what He loves even more than music, Jacob?”
“Me?” He was tentative, but suspected he had given the right answer.
“Yes, honey. Jesus loves Jacob! You are so smart! Now you want to get that box and we’ll write down your promise? Then we’ll put it in this box and wrap it up real pretty with lots of bows and bells.”
“Gramma?” His pensive mood was reflected on his furrowed brow. “How many candles on Jesus cake? How old is Jesus?”
“Oh, honey, you sure do ask Gramma some hard questions. Why don’t we listen to more of your Veggie Tales music while we wrap these gifts?”
(c)2009 April Lorier