This past Christmas my wife went to the dollar store to get little extra gifts (stocking stuffers) for our sons. Since they tear up everything, these past few years we have learned how to embed cheap toys into the mix of gifts. During this visit she purchased this $.99 beach ball for my 2yr old little terrorist. This year was the first Christmas he really could enjoy his gifts, so he received a few items (eletronics, action figures, games, etc.). Out of all the gifts he received, this kid loves this ball more than anything in the world. I sat the other day and watched how he kicked it against the wall, threw it at his brothers heads, layed on top of it, hugged it. This ball brought him so much joy and is his favorite toy in the world. It made me think about what lengths we, as parents, go to provide for our kids and make sure they have nice things. Oftentimes we get stuck on material items, but in reality it is the little things kids remember. Yes I remember some toys I had, but what I remember more is my mom making homemade chocolate chip cookies and allowing me to assist her. I remember her helping me with my math homework (and going to school the next day with it all wrong). I remember us not having money for a real tent, but making one out of chairs and old blankets. Things of that nature will forever be etched in my memory. I guess when I look back, the best thing my mom ever gave me was her time.