When I went to pick him up, he came out of the school without the hat and gloves. I asked them where they were and he looked confused. I checked his backpack - not there. So I figured he left them in his classroom. I asked him again, and he said something about them being "on the tree".
I pressed him for more information, and finally told him that we were going to go back inside to get them and he said "no Mom, they're on the tree for kids who need them!!!" I started to understand as we walked inside the school.
There in the lobby was an artificial Christmas tree that was "decorated" with new hats and gloves. The school is collecting them to donate them to the Salvation Army for Christmas. Alex's hat and gloves were perched very carefully on two of the branches.
I explained to Alex that they really want to have new, clean hats and gloves - not used dirty ones - and that we would go out and buy some to donate, but he needed to take his off of the tree so that he would have them. I have never seen a more heartbroken little boy. His little bottom lip poked out and tears started rolling down his face as he realized that he couldn't give "his" hat and gloves to someone who needed them. I assured him that soon - in the next few days - we would go to the store and he could pick out some new ones to put on the tree.
It was so touching to see how much he wants to help - and I can't wait to get him to the store so that he can pick some stuff out for the tree. It might have to wait until the weekend, but we're going to do it. With the amount of help that we've received over the past few years, this is just a teeny tiny way to pay a little bit of it forward.
In other hat and glove related news....
So, now I get to pull the rest of the brackets out of the wall, fix the holes, and attempt to rehang the shelf. I am so incredibly not happy about it, but at the same time I'm thankful that it wasn't a heavy shelf or I wouldn't have my shins anymore.
Grrrr. As if I didn't have enough to do already - but if I don't rehang it, it'll take about 3.7 seconds for every hat, glove, mitten, and scarf to be relocated to every out-of-the-way corner in the house, never to be found again.