My daughter has been receiving books as gifts for her whole life, of course. And she has occasionally suggested books as a birthday gift to one of her friends. But this morning she wrapped up two books, separately, and gave them to me as presents. I believe that this is the first time she's given a book as a gift, completely on her own. Of course they were books from her own bookshelves, but still, the thought was there. And she knew that books are my favorite things to receive as gifts.
Ironically, the first package contained a book that I wrote about in an early post called: A Tip for Growing Bookworms: Avoid Bookshaming (in which I had criticized a book that my daughter liked, and then felt badly about it: Barbie: My Fabulous Friends). Now, 18 months later, she admitted that she was giving this one to me because she finds the story (or lack thereof) a bit boring. So, not the most selfless of gifts.
But the second package was a different story. She enlisted my husband's help to find a particular title from her many shelves. And what she came up with was a book called Just Like Mama, by Leslea Newman and Julia Gorton. She taped her own label onto the outside of the package, and shyly pointed out that the mama on the cover has brown hair like me, and the daughter has lighter hair, like her. She was very pleased with herself.
I'm pretty sure that my daughter was motivated at least in part by a wish to practice her gift-wrapping skills (there was pink wrapping paper with cupcakes on it involved). But she understands that books make fine gifts, and that books are something that I value. And I think she even learned, between package 1 and package 2, something about how much better it feels to give a more thoughtful gift than otherwise. I'd say the whole exchange was well worth getting a late start on my exercise today.
Wishing you all a book-filled, present-filled weekend.