Tag Archive | presents

A True Confession

Yesterday was my 63rd birthday. I usually don’t tell people how old I am because I’ve always looked ten years younger. In fact, when I went to college at 35, one of my young contemporaries called me a “well preserved old broad.” (laugh here) At the time I accepted the compliment, and now, I hope it’s still true. (you can laugh again)

I really don’t mind getting older, but I do mind the changes it brings. Instead of presents, now I get phone calls. It’s not like I need anything, but I still revel when I’m surprised. Ken used to always surprise me, but now his illness doesn’t allow him to shower me with his special thoughtful gifts. It hurts. It’s another reminder of how much MS has taken from us.

I think at this stage of the game I should stop being a child about my birthday, but somehow I can’t turn off the fact that July 31 was the one day out of the year that I was the big cheese. My mother allowed all of us to pick what kind of cake we could have and what special outing we’d like for our special day. For me, it was poppyseed cake and an afternoon swimming at Brown’s Lake. On top of that, people sang to me and I got to make a wish before I blew out the candles on the cake. Then there was always the presents people picked out just for me. What a head rush! Who wouldn’t be crazy about a day like that?

So, maybe you can see now that taking Ken to the doctor and going out for lunch isn’t quite the same thing. However, it was very special when his doc sang “Happy Birthday” to me. Wasn’t that great?

A good blogging friend once wrote a comment to one of my writings about accepting change, which I came across this morning. Here it is:

The principles of the Buddhist philosophy is that it’s our expectations that cause suffering. When we release expectation and enjoy what is, suffering ends.

Makes sense doesn’t it? So why is it so hard to do?

 

When Santa Didn’t Come to Town

Presents and SantaIt’s Christmas morning, and I’m listening to the boys who live next door playing with their new holiday toys. They’re screaming and yelling like boys do. The sound of their shouts and laughter make me happy. They are playing like children should on Christmas morning.

My husband and I are having a quiet morning inside. He’s busying himself with loading new software onto his computer, while I’m writing my blog and playing a Facebook game that has me addicted. I’ve also drafted a new chapter of my latest novel, while I enjoy a hot cup of coffee and a light breakfast. We’re both still in our jammies and it’s almost noon. It’s a perfect Christmas morning.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it when my children were small and wide-eyed when they came downstairs on Christmas morning. But by the time they were five and eight years old, they would have the presents unwrapped before I had the coffee made. One year, I missed seeing their joy as they tore through their presents like a F-5 tornado. I made a pact with myself that would never happen again. I needed to outwit these children to slow them down.

So, the next year when they came down on Christmas morning, there were NO Christmas presents under the tree. The cookies and milk that they left for Santa were still sitting there, but the carrot had been gnawed. On the plate there was a note that read:

Dear Amy and Sarah,

Santa got the flu on Christmas Eve, so I volunteered to help. But I did it my way.

Love the Easter Bunny.

Easter Bunny

I remember their surprised, confused little faces as they tried to figure out what the note meant. Then like a light bulb coming over the head of a cartoon figure, Sarah said, “Oh, no! The Easter Bunny must have hid our presents!”

Sure enough. That’s just what had happened. So, while my two daughters searched every inch of our four-bedroom house, I made the coffee and set out the sweet rolls, so their father and I could enjoy them searching for their presents. It’s one of my fondest memories of our Christmases together. And now that they are adults living away from home, it’s one of theirs, too.

Merry Christmas Everyone