Thursday, December 25, 2008

Quietly Content

I wandered down the hall to join my parents in the living room. It was just before 8:00 and by far the latest I've ever slept on Christmas morning. I'm usually up long before dawn, eager to see what's under the tree and in my stocking.

"Smallest One would have pulled them over on herself," Mom explained when I asked where the embroidered pieces of fabric weren't hanging in their normal spot. Remembering the awful splat her chubby cheek made when it hit the doorway as she fell, I nodded my agreement. She's darling, but a bit accident-prone of late.

"Merry Christmas," I smiled at my parents as I walked to the kitchen to fetch coffee. I unwrapped the small box Dad handed me and smiled before the item was revealed. My penchant for growing disoriented makes Garmin a good gift. I tucked the box neatly in my suitcase, making a mental note to put it in the car for the drive home in a couple days. "Thank you," I said when Dad proudly handed me a package of hangers he'd found tangled in the lights.

"What is this?" he asked as he poked at the boxes wrapped in a large bag decorated with snowmen. "You told Mom to order it," he offered as he drug it to the living room.

"Oh!" I recalled, crossing my fingers. "I hope it's side tables! I need side tables!" He used his knife to open the box, withdrawing pieces of wood before handing me a paper. "It's a side table!" I giggled and tossed presents to Chienne to open while Dad constructed my gifts.

"I like this," Mom offered as Dad worked industriously and glared at the tables he was piecing together. I lounged on the couch, tugging at one end of a new rope while my dog growled and pulled at the opposite end. Mom was curled on the loveseat while we savored the relative quiet, mounds of wrapped gifts remaining under the brightly-lit tree. "It's exhausting when the girls are here."

I nodded - it is. Acknowledging that parenting must be hard as an abstract concept is nothing compared to chasing toddlers and answering questions, reading books, singing songs, answering demands for thirst and hunger and bathroom company. It's constant. So we puttered today - sipped coffee and ate casseroles for breakfast (if it can't be made with those biscuits from the rolls, it is not worth eating), nibbled at leftovers throughout the day and I can hear my parents discussing recipes as they put in ham and cheesy potatoes for a quiet dinner.

"This is for you," Dad said, handing me a Santa bag with a fuzzy, white top. I withdrew a sheet of red tissue paper to smile at the twin boxes inside.

"Aqua globes," I offered, turning the bag to show Brother who had arrived and was sitting next to me on the couch. "I've always wondered who would buy these," I offered absently, reading the directions that come with the plant-watering devices. I nodded when Mom said they were pretty and functional and promised her I'd stick them in some plants when I got home.

It was neither particularly joyous or fabulously merry. The day was rather quiet and sleepy, but we were together and comfortable. I very much hope you and yours had a wonderful day, whatever celebrations it contained.


Seeking Solace said...

Happy Christmas!

Unbalanced Reaction said...

Sounds like a lovely day. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Quietly content sounds just lovely!!

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