And the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, saying: Ask what you will that I should give you. ~1 Kings 3:5 / 2 Chronicles 1:7
While Kyle was texting me, I took a picture of this display in Barnes & Noble & sent it to him. 4/22/12
This story was too cute to pass up and I had to share it. About a month ago my sister was home and we were watching TV, one of Kyle’s shows. Just then a commercial came on regarding a Toys-R-Us shopping spree. Kyle’s face instantly shined while ‘Alleluia’ played in his head. Immediately, he went to the computer to look it up and to get the details. Nicole helped him search high and low and behold, there it was, Kyle’s dream contest. Naturally, he had Nicole enter him right away. Now the Toys-R-Us shopping spree remained the topic of all of his conversations for the remainder of the weekend.
Nicole and I were working on the details for a Thrill of the Hunt scavenger hunt for a client in Austin, Texas. We really needed to be focused, yet Kyle kept interrupting us with ideas and dreams of what he was going to get. Not what he had the opportunity of winning, but what he was sure he was going to receive. Kyle immediately believed he was going to win this contest, hands down. I’ll give him credit, when he wants something he puts his whole heart into it and believes it with all of his being.
As we sat around the kitchen table, every topic out of his mouth was Lego related. Not unlike most days, but this one was intense. He had it mapped out of what he was going to add to his cart first. He said, “I’ll start off with the really big Legos and then I’ll hit the Skylanders and if I have time I’ll get some other stuff.” What a stinker! Now, me being the realist and personally I was sick of hearing about this contest already, turned to Kyle saying, “Don’t you think you need to first worry about winning? It’s a long shot Kyle.” Then mom chimed in saying, “Yes Kyle and I don’t want you walking around pouting if you don’t win. And getting upset over something you don’t need.” Kyle not wanting to argue because he was so full of enthusiasm and excitement tried to put us at ease by saying, “Yes I know, but I could have a chance at winning. And I know I may not win, I understand.”
So now I’m going to take this opportunity to help instill goodness in Kyle, trying to shut out the constant desire to always want stuff and to stop a possible tendency for greed. Don’t get me wrong, Kyle is not a greedy person, at all! He does have issues with always wanting and wanting more, but my concern is to avoid him walking down a greedy path. Reiterating what everyone knows to be true, I said, “Kyle you don’t need any more toys. You have rooms full of them!” It’s like he could read me and was preparing for this conversation because he said, “I know Aunt Heather but I don’t have ALL the Lego’s and you know how I like to build.” Continuing on trying to set an example, I retorted “You know what would be nice? If you won the contest and you donate it to some kid that has nothing.” Looking mortified, Kyle said, “Yes Aunt Heather but I really want to do the shopping spree. I know I can do it.” Meeting him halfway I responded, “Ok, but what if you donated all your toys to the kids that have lost everything during Hurricane Sandy.” Being a quick thinker, who wants his own way, Kyle said, “Umm ok, how about his. I’m sure I’ll get some of the same Lego’s, ’cause you know I do have a lot. I can donate those toys that I already have and keep the ones I don’t.” What a stinker! Kyle almost got the point. I was trying to have him think of others before himself and make a small sacrifice. It’s not a sacrifice if your heart isn’t into it and if you still benefit. I’m going to continue trying on that topic.
Then to really kick my efforts to the side, Nicole said, “Ok Kyle if you win and donate the toys, I’ll match that amount and give you the $1,000 to do your own shopping spree.” Kyle instantly corrected Nicole, “Aunt Nikki it’s up to $5,000. It’s a 10 minute shopping spree in the Toys-R-Us store in New York, up to $5,000 of toys.” The reality hit and Nicole said, “Ya no, I’m not giving you that.” Mom again jumped into the conversation saying, “Kyle! You don’t need anymore toys, you have plenty. You have more than most kids. Be happy with what you have.”
Kyle seemed to hear us, but I don’t think he was really listening. There was a wall of ‘Shopping Spree’ and ‘Lego’s’ blocking anything else from entering his thoughts. Needless to say he continued on this idea, ALL weekend. At one point I heard him talking to my dad and dad commented, “Well, someone has to win it.” As if he needed more fuel to that fire. We all yelled at dad and he defended himself saying, “Well someone does have to win! I hope it is Kyle!” Every one of us would be happy for Kyle if Kyle did indeed win, but dad was missing the point that Kyle has too much and he needs to stop obsessing over toys, specifically Lego’s.
At one point, I stepped into a conversation already long on its way and I heard Kyle stress about getting his toys home. Really? Keep in mind he didn’t win the shopping spree. Dad said, “Don’t worry buddy, if we have to rent a truck, I’ll get your toys home.” Am I hearing this correctly? Yep! Seriously what could I say that I haven’t already. So, to instigate a little further I said, “We’re going to have to add on another wing to the house.” Dad jumped in my by saying, “I’ll do that for Kyle if we have to.” Kyle just stood there nodding his head with a look of ‘Pappy’s got my back’. Are you kidding me? He really does believe that! In a way, I believe dad meant it too! Are these guys loosing their minds?
As if not satisfied with the truck to bring all the toys back and the new wing added onto the house, Kyle turned to me and said, “Can you get Mikey to make me a large wooden table to display all my Legos?” I actually was completely stunned! He was planning that far in advance. All I could do is smile and say, “Yes Kyle, if you beat out all the nation’s children who also entered the sweepstake, and you get too many Lego’s to be supported in this house, when pappy builds your new wing I will have a table made for you.” Unbelievable, and this was just on Saturday.
All Saturday night while I took him around trick-or-treating Halloween Takes A Turn! he kept bringing up his winnings. His fictitious booty. Maybe there’s something I don’t know.
You would have thought his mindset would change by Sunday. Nope! I had to threaten him, letting him know if I heard one word of this contest during church he would be grounded. He knew I meant business. Church is no place for self-indulgence and to act self-centered, it’s a place of reverence, reflectance and a chance to be humble. I’ll give him credit, he did good. I mean it probably killed him that he couldn’t mention the shopping spree, but he certainly made up for it the minute we walked out of church and the rest of the day on Sunday.
Kyle and I went to early mass and then to CCD. Mom and Nicole went to the later mass. So to help mom out Kyle and I went to our weekly run of Giant Eagle, picking up a few needed items for dinner. Then we started cooking, trying to get it ready for noon when mom and Nicole would be arriving. The entire way through the food prep and food assembly, Kyle just stood there beside me in front of the stove chattering on about all his potential winnings. Finally I turned to him and said, “Kyle the only person who can guarantee you winning this contest is God. And that’s only if He wants you to have it. So I’d better start praying really hard if I were you.” He looked at me thinking intently and said, “Ok Aunt Heather I’m going to pray everyday really hard for me to win! Would you say a prayer for me too?” What could I say to that? I smiled and said, “You got it buddy. But I will also be praying for a deserving kid to win.”
Aunt Nikki’s Facebook post
As Kyle was suppose to be helping me cook, he ditched me for a new mission. All of a sudden I heard Kyle say to my dad, “Pap pap, I know you don’t go to church, but would you do me a favor and say a prayer for me so I win this contest.” That was too cute and sincere on Kyle’s part! Dad, without missing beat said, “Yes I know I don’t go to church, but I always pray for you buddy, and yes I will say a prayer that you win this contest.” As I was standing there stirring the chili, I couldn’t help but wear the biggest smile.
Kyle was sporting the same smile when he walked back in the kitchen with a look of, ‘Mission Accomplished.’ Too funny! Unbeknownst to me at the time, I guess Kyle cornered mom and Nicole for the same prayers. Gotta love his spirit!
Later on that day, I heard Kyle start to plan out who was going with him on the trip. Initially he said that me, Nicole and dad would go with him, because there would be a lot of walking so his Gigi couldn’t do it. Relieving some of his unnecessary stress I said, “We will pay for Gigi to go too and we’ll take care of getting her around.” He actually seemed relieved with my declaration. Then, he started looking into the hotel that was to accompany the winner. He commented that it was really expensive. Again, to put his mind at ease I said, “Don’t worry buddy, we’ll pick up all extra expenses so we can all go.” He nodded and agreed with excitement.
He must have re-read the package deal and saw that the child has to be accompanied by a parent. He said, “O no Aunt Heather I have to take my mom, so then who are we going to use the other two tickets for? I guess you and Aunt Nikki!” Without waiting on a response he went in the living-room, with his head hanging low like he has to share some bad news and said, “Pappy, you and Gigi will have to stay at home. I don’t have enough tickets.” Keep in mind, there is no winnings at this point! Dad simply said, “That’s ok buddy, whatever you want to do.” You have to admit was have nothing but love for our little man!
His thoroughness didn’t just stop at prayers and outlining the itinerary. O no! He seriously covered all bases, even going as far as asking my dad if he would give him WD40 to grease up the wheels so he would wiz through the store faster. To get a reaction out of Kyle I asked, “If you win can I train you?” Immediately he said, “Yep, Aunt Heather I will listen to you and you can train me, I don’t care.” He continued by saying, “Can we maybe practice in our Toys-R-Us?” I was dying! He really was thinking of EVERYTHING! I encouraged him by saying, “Yes Kyle, I will make you, your very own simulated store and prepare you. Don’t worry, I can get you ready, but you need to listen to me.” Encouragingly he said, “I will, for this I’ll even run!” After that conversation I told my sister and my parents what just unfolded. Kyle just stood there radiating an confirmation smile.
Sunday night Kyle had his youth group meeting. While we were in the car he said to me, “Ok Aunt Heather, my emails go to your email right?” It’s true, Kyle has his own email account but I have it forwarded to my account just to monitor his iTunes purchases and any activity. He’s too young to be set free in the land of the world wide web and encounter others that are not looking out for his well-being. The conversation never deviated off of this shopping spree. He even went as far as to lean in to me, to capture my fullest attention, looking me straight in the eye while I was driving, allowing me to glanced over to hear him say “I’m in it to win it!” Classic! I have no doubt about that!
God Speed Kyle! I hope the Nickelodeon & Toys R Us Great Big Toy Run Sweepstakes in Times Square is all yours!