We all have had similar experiences.

We all have had similar experiences.

We think we find the perfect gift for a child – only to find that the child prefers playing with, on or in the box the gift came in.  My Papa sold Motorola televisions and he knew it.  As a matter of fact, he saved boxes for us.

It was not uncommon for us to have a 6-10 television box fort/house/castle out in Papa’s yard. 

After getting this many cardboard television boxes all hooked together at the same time, it was truly a mansion and living in extravagance.  I didn’t realize it at the time.  However, I did realize times were good. 

How many grandparents would hand a child a butcher knife and tell them to “Have a good time”?  You needed the butcher knife to cut holes in the cardboard boxes for windows, doors and light in general. 

It gets dark inside of a television box. 

My Papa was truly a brilliant man in so many ways.  So many folks don’t understand the importance of what they truly do give children.  With so many electronic games and phones and music devices, the imagination part sometimes gets forgotten.

Then again, I think about what my son “does” to music and still calls it music and I must say it is pretty imaginative.

Oh well.  

The other day I was in one of these places that sell farm goods, feed and stuff for horses.  I saw this little red tractor that caught my eye.  It wasn’t a fancy tractor that you pedal or anything; it was one that you “scoot” around on using your feet.

It was appropriate for a very small child.  My nephew’s daughter needed it in my opinion.  Girls need tractors, dogs and BB guns just as much or more than little boys.

Your nephew’s daughter is one of those relationships that they have invented a name for.  They say she is your “great-niece.”  It does not make sense to me.  A great grandchild is “three levels” down.  “Grand-niece” would make a lot more sense.

Anyway, she needed that tractor.

A few days before Christmas, my nephew’s wife shared some pictures of another gathering they had been to with her family.  You know how the holidays are; you divide the weekends up and celebrate for two or three weeks.

Well, right in the middle of all of those pictures was my great-niece in a little red convertible.  Oh goodness, little red convertibles really do get to little girls.  At least they seem to get to my girls, who both can drive real cars now.

So I thought about the little red tractor and how it was going to feel going up against a red convertible that probably had a horn, lights and maybe even a radio.

The feeling of competition is something that we could face every day if we let ourselves.  Competition is good for some instances and not to be worried about in others.  Did I worry about it?

No, not at all…


I got word that my great-niece, who is about one and a half years old announced what her favorite gift was from the gathering where she got the red convertible.

She said it was a toothbrush.  Now granted it was a Mickey or Minnie Mouse toothbrush, but it was still a toothbrush.

We will see what she thinks about the little red tractor, but a girl who prefers a toothbrush over a red convertible is one I want to watch grow up.

Rodney Atkins, a fellow who sings country music, has a wonderful song about “A Man on a Tractor.”  In the lyrics, Atkins notes that his wife says, “It’s not about living another man’s life, it’s about seeing your own differently.”

The song is based on seeing a fellow on a tractor and his dog out in the middle of a field and realizing how happy they were.

Before I give this little red tractor away, I’m going to take it out in the yard with my two dogs and see what kind of feeling I get.  If I can find a cardboard box big enough, I also might make myself a fort (if someone around here will let me use a butcher knife).


Find more stories at www.CranksMyTractor.com.