No sooner are all the presents unwrapped (and it's always amazing to me how quickly that happens and how there tends to be that let down of looking about and scratching my head thinking, "We spent how much and it's all done?") and Benjamin is already starting on his Christmas list for the next year.
Before Benjamin was born, my wife and I decided we were not going to be one of those parents who go into debt to buy our child Christmas presents. So often, we would see parents in line, spending hundreds of dollars on toys that would probably only be played with for a week or two before they got broken or forgotten and would later end up in a yard sale. We tended to focus on getting him toys that he could play with more long term: blocks, art supplies & easel, sidewalk chalk, Legos, board games, etcetera. One of the longest lasting gifts was his plastic food. I can't even count the number of pretend meals we had in his room. Of course, like many children, he often preferred to play with the boxes over the toys.
When he was younger, the lists were full of the toys he wanted. Ones I can remember are the Imaginext castle, the Whac-a-Mole Tower, Eyeclops, and a Star Wars Volcano. So often, though, it was the toys I picked out for him that weren't on his list that were the ones he played with the most: Tinker Toys, Tube Trax, Toobers and Zots, toy gears, and an erector set - see a pattern? He loves to create, make, and invent things. Benjamin used the tinker toys and rubber-bands to create an amazing pulley system.
See below for just a few of his creations:
As he grew older, his Christmas lists began to be full of science kits, microscope, crystal growing kits, a poster of great scientists, and he asked for one of a large Tesla Coil (as Nikola Tesla is one of his heroes - along with Bill Gates, and Adam & Jamie from Mythbusters). For anyone who doesn't know what a Tesla Coil is here is a photo of one:
Needless to say, no, he did not get one. At least not a large one. Here's his:
Here's his Tesla Coil lit up at night:
This year his Christmas wish list is as follows:
- a 10 uF Capacitor
- Breadboard jumpers
- Breadboard (and no this has absolutely nothing to do with bread)
- Jameco Power Supply
- Circuit Helping Hands- Copper Clad PC Board
- Electrical Tape (yes, electrical tape)
Not your typical 12 year old. Of course, this works to my advantage because Benjamin hates to get his haircut, but since the place I take him to get his hair cut is right next to Radio Shack, he agrees on the condition I let him go in and browse. The manager and associates there love when he comes in because my son will talk to them about this kind of thing, while I either stand there not understanding the conversation or mill about and look at remote control cars.
Although his Christmas wish list has changed greatly over the years, one thing hasn't: every year for both Christmas and his birthday, the one thing Benjamin has asked for on every list was a sibling. From the time he was little until now, that has been his biggest wish. It's so thrilling to see that something he has desired and prayed about since he was five or six is finally coming true. And it is even more exciting that we will be going over there to find his sibling at Christmas this year. This definitely shows the faith of a little child.
For those of you who have been praying to God for something in your own life, do not give up hope, because God truly does hear our prayers. Just ask my son.