the nine year old son comes home from school, asks for an envelope. What size, what for I ask, and small one is enough. Then he continues to ask where are the free movie tickets he received for his birthday. (In this house it seems that I'm always asked where things are). I did not connect the two so said "why, what are you doing with them?" - in a voice "I don't want to give them to you to lose them". The secret is out, he was planning on giving them to me and his dad as Christmas present. Of course now that it all came out it wasn't such a surprise and tears came to his eyes. He had this great idea, because he really wants to give us something and he doesn't think these "happy children", "a back rub", "a good game with you" answers to his question "what would you like for Christmas" are good enough. He wants to give us something tangible, something he can buy with his money or give as a sacrifice (he really wants to go to the movies, he had already picked a movie to go see).
I explained that he doesn't need to give us his tickets, but his desire and willingness to give them was very touching and we appreciate it allready so much that the act itself is a great gift. What a spoiler I was. I wish I would have not spoiled his joy of his great idea. I know he didn't give up but is already planning something else.
But I think it just happens so many times with kids. Too many times. A child is doing something, which to you seems not so sensible, or is doing something other than you've asked him or her to do. You tell them sharply to do what you've asked or ask "what are you doing" in a tone of "what on earth are you doing" - to find in both cases that the child is doing something great, something he or she has thought that would make you or someone else in the family happy. But because of timing or you not seeing the point in doing, the good feeling the child had about his or her idea and her actions is spoiled.
Or does it happen only to me?