Friday, January 06, 2006

Feed the Birds

        Of all the gifts that any of us got this Christmas, I think our favorite is one that was given to Peregrine by his Nana and Papa. There's a lot that I could say about it- it's simple, inexpensive, doesn't require batteries, and is great for all ages. It's educational and he can enjoy it alone or with others. There's no possible way for him to be possessive about it and Alethea can't choke on it. (Big bonus there!) It's a gift that changes all the time, has elements of suspense and drama, and will be still be good a long time from now.
        Have you guessed yet? It's s bird feeder! Just a simple wire basket with a block of suet that fits inside. We hung it up outside the dining room window and have been having so much fun watching our feathered friends come and go. It took them a few days to find it but since then we've had a steady stream of visitors flocking around to get their treats. Peregrine exclaimed with great excitement a few mornings ago "Mama! Some birds have discovered our feeder!" We talk about the different colors and sizes and are trying to learn the names of some of them. I'm pretty ignorant about birds so am happily learning right along with him. There was a beautiful pair of larger birds a few days ago; we took pictures and when Erik got home he identified them for us as Flicker Woodpeckers. Now Peregrine talks about "the Flickers" like they're his long lost friends. I told him how glad the birds were to get some food in this cold weather and he yelled "You're welcome" in their general direction.
        And I think that's one of my favorite things about this gift: it's not just for Peregrine. It may be a small thing, but he's seeing that there is joy in giving to others and in considering the needs of someone other than himself. He's delighted to see the birds visiting his feeder and takes pleasure in watching the flurry of wings surrounding it. He's pleased that they are happy to find their food. I pray that this will grow in him, and in me, and that we will truly learn that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

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