Observations by Key Monroe~~Home of Right Opinions, Cynical Viewpoints, and TMI in Hefty Doses
|E-mail: keymonroe [at] alltel [dot] net

December 18, 2004

Making It All Worthwhile

Oh, have I bitched. LOVE Christmas, hate the prep work.

I am convinced that my in-laws by far exceed the typical stereotype.

How could I have missed the Christmas play that my mother-in-law was in at her church? How? Oh nevermind! Just look at these five rolls of film and OO and AAH appropriately. Whoa, don't look away, I'm not finished with you. So what if you're trying to prepare a meal for the whole family for a 1:00 get-together that you didn't even friggin volunteer for? Look. at. me!

Then the sister-in-laws showed up with my four nieces and nephew. And I love these women despite their appearances... One is a size five, the other a size three. And they are cute. Oh, so cute. Almost as cute as Acidman (whom we all know is popular only because he is cute, and not because he has any talent whatsoever.)

Next, the father-in-law - who is divorced from the mother-in-law - walked in with shopping bags and wrapping paper which he pressed into my arms. "I didn't have time, I worked a double, I...my boss, I didn't wrap these," he panted out finally.

So size 5 and I headed to the back bedroom and completed the task of wrapping gifts after lunch, all the while being serenaded with hallway rants of "PRESENTS! PRESENTS!"

And now we get to the "making it all worthwhile" part. The biggest present - not the nicest or most expensive mind you, but the biggest present - was for my sweet little foster son, courtesy my crazy as a loon father-in-law, bless his soul.

We were getting ready to divide the presents into piles when the little guy spotted the big one. "That one is yours..." I whispered to him. His eyes became huge as he eyed the gift as tall as he, "Reeeallly?" he asked. "Really," I confirmed. Then I seated him beside Miss Priss on the sofa so that the piling of gifts could begin.

Excited and greedy hands reached for gift after gift to add to their stack. They knew this process well, as they have been spoiled by loving and attentive parents. Meanwhile little guy refused to take interest in anything other than the BIG gift propped up next to the sofa.

As his other gifts were backing up the process a bit, I finally intervened. I began delivering them onto the sofa beside him and eventually one landed in his lap. THAT got his attention. He looked up at me with crushed blue eyes, "Nooo, not that one," he said, "I thought I was going to get the big one!"

"You do, sweetheart." He looked confused, and a heart-broken me immediately understood. "You get both honey," I told him. "In fact, you get this entire stack!"

"I do?" Immediately the light was back into his eyes. "You mean I get more than one?"

"Yes honey," he looked skeptical, so I ignored the knot in my throat and continued to confirm, "These are all for you."

Two or three seconds of judging my face in all earnest, and then, finally, understanding. "Cooool!"

I have never seen such excitement on a child's face as I did when he tore into that stack of gifts. I wish I could post the pics.

Suddenly the irritation - that I had expertly concealed by the way - was dissipating into the moment. I needed perspective. I got it.

My in-laws drive me insane, but they are good people who have embraced my foster son, and he was in heaven today.


(As an afterthought...I'm not even sure he realizes that today wasn't it. Wait 'til I tell him that he gets to do this again next week!)

posted by Key on 10:20 PM | Comments (7)
ยป Precocious Designs... Premature intentions... links with: Happy Holidays!

Key, BITE ME! You and your "cute."

Posted by: Acidman at December 18, 2004 11:34 PM

You are so much nicer than I am. Key has a heart. Queenie has a gnawed peach-pit, left in the sun for days. Juiceless. I'm only able to muster a holiday tingle over the Honey-Baked Ham.

(Aside to Uncle Robert: You know you brung it. She gives as good as she gits, don't she?)

Posted by: Queenie at December 19, 2004 01:52 AM

Okay, Key. I've been bah-humbugging with the best of them the last few days. I needed THAT perspective and attitude change.

Bless you. God love that boy child.

Posted by: Christina at December 19, 2004 03:44 AM

Ain't it weird how perspective can take the air out of our self-righteous annoyance or self-pity or whatever defence mechanism we use because we fear the innocence and magic of the childhoods we have left behind?

It hurts, but it is also good.

Posted by: Jack at December 19, 2004 03:48 AM

That was heartwarming; thanks for sharing! :)

Posted by: pam at December 19, 2004 01:06 PM

This post is far too kind and heartwarming for a comment from a wretch like me.


Posted by: Velociman at December 19, 2004 05:43 PM

Thanks Key..I've found my perspective now. I needed that kick. Great story.

Posted by: Moogie at December 20, 2004 12:37 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?