From Russia with Love…
“From Russia with Love. Lol.”
That’s how she signed off the email in which she confirmed she would be moving to the UK so I could be close to my son. Only a couple of weeks later I was picking them both up at the airport, eternally grateful to a woman who was turning her world upside down to allow me to have a real relationship with that little boy. That little boy had taught me more about love in the first 24 hours I had known him than I had learnt in the 20-something years prior.
Not even two years later, that little boy and I would be back in Russia attending the funeral of his Mother – of the woman who made my relationship with my son possible.
And just 2 years later again, that little boy would be a little man with an inspiring outlook on the world. For someone so young, he’s been through a great deal and handles it better than many adults I know handle their own challenges.
My son has a homework assignment to talk about the greatest gift he’s ever had. As we sat down to talk about it yesterday, he asked me;
“What’s the greatest gift you ever had?”
“That’s easy,” I told him. “You and your sister – the best gifts ever.”
“I wasn’t a gift!” he laughed. “I didn’t get wrapped up!”
“You were a gift,” I assured him. “You were brought to me all the way from Russia. And no, you weren’t wrapped up. But not all gifts get wrapped up, do they?”
“My Playstation was wrapped up?” he told me. “And so was my guitar and those new notebooks you got me for my birthday. And everything Santa brought was wrapped up!”
“Not all your gifts have been wrapped though… your new bedroom wasn’t wrapped. Your new sister wasn’t wrapped either, was she?”
He has an answer for everything so I was a little surprised when he didn’t say anything for a moment.
“Hmm.. I know what my best gift ever was. And it wasn’t wrapped,” he finally said.
“What was it?” I enquired.
“I’ll tell you later.”
And off he went to get started on the assignment.
Two hours or so later he brought his book to me and asked me to look over the work. The title was, as per instruction from his teacher, “The Best Gift I’ve Ever Received.”
I read it, corrected one or two little errors and explained to him why they were errors and then I suggested he took it to Chloe.
She cried – tears of happiness of course. And he had the biggest smile on his face ever. Sometimes it just feels that good making someone’s day.
I’ll leave you with the opening paragraph:
“The best gift I’ve ever received is my new Mum. Her name is Chloe. She isn’t my only Mum. My first Mum died from cancer and then I thought I would never have a Mum. But Chloe married my Dad and they asked me if I would like it if Chloe was my Mum. I said I’d like it a lot because I love Chloe and she loves me even though she didn’t know me when I was a baby.”