Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Christmas List

Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can we, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom act as one with our very souls.

When I was about 12, I desperately wanted pierced ears. All my friends already had them, along with the requisite 12 pairs of earrings and matching necklaces. I was this skinny girl with red hair and freckles and no visible curves, while my blond-haired, green eyed flirtatious best friend was already turning heads with her figure and clothes. I just wanted to fit in like all the other girls in junior high. So when my parents asked for our Christmas lists, I wrote in very large letters across the top "PIERCED EARS."

But it was not to be. My mother's ears bled terribly when she got her ears pierced, so she wanted to delay this possibility with me as long as possible. So no earrings again. I was so crushed.

My closest brother Joe, was doing odd jobs in the neighborhood for one family and making some serious spending money. Probably 40 bucks a week in 1974. He saved his money up, and on Christmas Eve, at age 14, walked the 2 miles into the local hardware store, Arthur's. There weren't any Walmart's or close malls at that point in time. Arthur's had a little bit of everything, including jewelry. He got me a pair of clip on Santa earrings. He also bought an electric blanket for my Mom, because "she was always complaining she was cold." He walked in a pretty good snowstorm and bought the stuff for that night.

I remember opening the earrings and being so happy. I wore them everyday, even when we went back to school on January 6. I was just so ecstatic over the earrings. It was really sweet that he did that. I wore them every Christmas for many years until they fell apart. I don't have them anymore, but when I do my day-after Christmas shopping like I did today, and I see the marked down Christmas jewelry, it always makes me smile in remembrance.

Joe was so happy working for that family. They treated him great and just loved him. The Mom made cookies just for him and give him great snacks. I remember how fondly he talked about them. He just loved all the attention. Years later, when the drugs finally over took my brother and his life was over too soon, that family showed up and talked about what a great boy he was. It was such a comfort and joy to hear. 20 years later, it still sticks in my brain.

I spent a lot of time growing up at my friends' homes and having the Moms show me great love and food. Even my blond-haired, green eyed best friend fed me many a night, even though it was often dinner number two for me. Kathleen's Mom. Sheila's Mom. Elizabeth's. I just loved how they opened their homes to kids and fed them and laughed, so I try to do that in my home today. My DH would rather not have the noise and mess, but I just ignore him.

Tonight Wild Child has Soccer Boy over. I had clementines in the house one time last year, and Soccer Boy managed to eat a whole box of them, leaving the peels in the box. It just made me smile. Someday I will run into Soccer Boy the man and joke about who ate all the clementines.

So tonight, I ran out and bought a new box of clementines just because. And smiled and laughed. I tried to tell him he could only have 2. But of course, he snuck back a half hour later and took 2 more.

I don't mind the noise of the kids, because I hope it makes them feel the house is theirs and that we will always be there for them and their friends. I like to know what they are up to, at least for the night. I am sure they are pulling the wool over my eyes at times, but at least I have them close by to see it.

Showering them with love may be all that I have at times. But least they have that to carry them into adulthood. And if this helps them reach it, so be it.

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