Thursday morning. I walk with my mom to a store that has recently opened to look for a nice gift for my niece’s upcoming birthday. It’s getting kind of cold. I’m so grateful that I brought my comfy winter jacket to my parent’s house. I reach in the jacket pockets to warm up my hands and feel a tiny stone in the left pocket and two chestnuts in the other. My heart lights up at the recollection of the moments when I received these gifts. All of a sudden I don’t feel that cold anymore…
It’s been awhile since I last cooked for a man, and this is no ordinary man. His name is Niels and he’s quite special to me. Last time he slept over we had a blast. Will it be just as much fun this time? Butterflies rise in my stomach from excitement. I can’t wait till he’s here!
It feels like it takes forever, but then I hear the rolling of two wheels of a suitcase on the pavement outside my window. I rush to the door to open it and even though I know he’ll be standing in front of my door I still get a little bit startled by the sound of the bell. “Wow that was fast!” a man’s voice says. I explain that I had heard the wheels of the suitcase and that I had hoped it was Niels. And it was!
He looks up with the biggest smile on his face and hands me cookies that are so pink, it makes my teeth ache just by looking at them. Damn those cookies are pink! “These are for you” and he holds up his other hand and shows the chocolate coins he got “ and these are for me!” he grins. I bend down and give him the biggest hug. Thankfully he’s still at that age where he doesn’t mind hugging (even kissing!!) his aunt mo. Please stay like this forever & always, my sweet sweet nephew!
That evening we cook pancakes together from scratch. Lucky for me he knows how, because I’ve had my fair share of mishaps when it comes to pancakes…or cooking in general for that matter. We’re quite hungry ‘cause Niels had brought his skates. Finally, we got to skate together at the park. We had such an amazing afternoon. He showed me how good he got and we explored the park together. Sure I’ve been there a billion times, but it’s different with him there. He constantly looks around and suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere he crosses the road. My heart jumps out of my chest, because I had heard the motorbike coming towards us. Thank god!! The guy on the bike saw us there. Niels didn’t even really notice that it was a close call, because he had his eyes fixed on what he had spotted on the floor.
He carefully rummages through the spiked covers and looks for chestnuts and when he finds some, he picks them up and gives them to me. “ These are for you aunt Monique!”. I play with one of them and roll it on the ground. Niels is not amused. It was a gift from him and I’m supposed to keep it with me, he says. And he’s absolutely right! How wonderful these gifts are. They are free of charge, yet so much more valuable than any present one could ever buy at a store.
Another great lesson learned from a six year old. Thank you Niels. I’ll keep this lesson and the chestnuts close to my heart and will never forget <3