• Marnie Hammar

The Little Big Things We Share


I walked into my office and found a yellow sticky note with a tiny penciled apology from my nine-year-old. During “school” at home that morning, he noticed a pile of river rocks on the bookcase next to him. Instead of working on his math, he studied the rocks. ⁠⠀

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“What are these, mom?” he asked. ⁠⠀

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I shared with him that we saved those river rocks from the trip we took to celebrate our tenth anniversary. ⁠⠀

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“Can I have one?” he asked. ⁠⠀

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Knowing his affinity for rocks, I let him pick his favorite. He pocketed a small, translucent white one, satisfied that he was now part of that memory, too. ⁠⠀

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Later that day, though, I find this scrawled apology. He had been at the creek playing, but came home suddenly, shutting himself in his room. The note appeared at some point during his self-imposed isolation. It said: “I’m super sorry for losing your rock. I can’t forgive myself so I’ll give you a gift.” Next to his note was his beloved stuffed doggie, bequeathed to me as “payment".⁠⠀

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He had taken the rock to the creek. And at some point while he was playing, it fell in, lost.⁠⠀

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I easily could have dismissed his request for that simple river rock that day, but I’m so thankful I didn’t. In choosing to take love off the shelf and give it freely, we both received a gift far greater. ⁠⠀

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This tiny memento—something I’d had on my shelf for 14 years—became far more impactful once it left that shelf. He embraced this little rock’s significance. He felt the weight of being trusted with it. And then, after the rock sunk to the bottom of the creek, after the apology, after hugs and grace, and after I returned his dear doggie to him, he learned that the love that gives the gift is far more significant than gift itself. ⁠⠀


Read the rest at The Joyful Life Magazine.

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