Christmas Day passed with relatively minor injury – nothing that warranted triage, protective custody or military intervention. We were bloodied, but now bowed. And best of all – no one was arrested on assault charges or booked for packin’ heat that had not been officially registered with Toys R Us. Now THAT was a miracle!
That morning, before anyone could approach their mound of decadence, I prepared a breakfast of solid protein, as is my custom. This is a tradition that can be traced back, no doubt, to Mary herself, when she insisted on food of dense nutritional value to counter the hallucinatory effects of inhaling too much second-hand myrrh from well-intentioned Magi, - the ancient equivalent of today’s sugar high.
We partied to the brink of dementia. To survive the holidays, dementia is mandatory. The children all received in greater abundance than their annual behavior justified – such are the consequences of justice tempered by mercy…and a plethora of grandparently tolerance and adoration. Asher is a prodigy of perpetual motion. In his case, it is easier to repair than rebuke. The rest of the miniature mafia are like live-action cartoons. It would be easier to harness a tidal wave than to diminish their energy. There is nothing measured, graceful, genteel or, at times, civil about the multitude when Santa has visited. They are throbbing and rumbling and pulsing even at rest. It is a little unnerving to think they carry ancestral DNA.
I personally received a cherished gift. It is a necklace engraved with each grandchild’s name, date of birth, and appropriate birth stone. I wear it over my heart, which is just adjacent to my charge card. This is so that I can recite each kid’s name as I begin the ritualistic over-indulgence purchasing the week after Christmas. I am certain all grandmas have an element of depravity where their particular posse is concerned. We are first-responders. Self-restraint is not our specialty. I am renown for my entertainment inflation.
But one crime I am absolutely NOT guilty of is declaring that MY child (or grandchild, etc.- fill in the blank) would never do (whatever felony/misdemeanor, etc. – fill in the blank) the (teacher, sheriff, bishop, etc. – fill in the blank) accused them of doing. I’ve always known they were not only capable of (Name That Mischief), but were quite likely the ringleaders. Ergo, while there is frequently omelet on my plate, there is never egg on my face!
Ah, but I digress. We took particular care to review the sacred events that first generated this annual frenzy on Christmas Eve. It all seems so simple when one is instructing small children. I’m not really sure why, as adults, we complicate it in the name of “The Holidays.” Distorted reasoning, due undoubtedly to sleep deprivation brought on by nostalgia and tradition…and too much wassail.
But this year, the children all appeared to get it. This was most gratifying. And they, in turn, seemed to teach the adults…as two exhausted generations lay in traction from preparing festivities of such elaborateness it can sometimes divert and obscure that simple story of old.
Every year I claim redemption, a personal epiphany of reclamation – that I will change my ways and not lose sight of what matters most. But it is so easy to lose my way.
Dennis helps me a lot with my vows of financial celibacy. He channels his inner Jacob Marley, drapes himself in heavy chains and conjures hard core bank statements in 8X10 glossies from my personal history, as he groans in quivering agony, pale and slack-jawed. These pictures rise up to haunt my dreams at all hours of the night like a hybrid of all the Fiscal Ghosts of Christmas Presents Past. Unfortunately, all his oratorical pyrotechnics fall on depleted reserves of energy. I’m too tired to be persuaded.
So, I remain resolutely unimpressed. I am not easily frightened…I’m a mother! Like most Mothers and Grandmas, I’m one part guts and three parts Teflon, and where my little multitude is concerned, rationale and restraint simply don’t stick. Terrorism is rather impotent when we’re talkin’ grandchildren.
If it’s the thought that counts, my brain is worth its weight in gold! (Dennis just groaned.)
And speaking of thoughts, the first decade of the new millennium is approaching its conclusion. I welcome 2011 with open arms. I am not sure what this year has in store for us. There are no oracles we can consult. I am OK with that. But I do know what will NOT be littering my calendar. There will be no colonoscopy, no jury duty, no parathyroidectomy and no appendectomy. Been there. Done that. From now on, all my surgery will be recreational!
I am, however, amenable to body recontouring. Apparently, according to all the infomercials, (so you know it’s true), this is done by simple “muscle confusion.” Hmmmm. Muscle confusion. OooooooKaaaaaay. I’m a little unclear on the concept. I wonder if that’s the same as flab disorientation. Or perhaps cellulite deception. Maybe corpulent fraud? I confess I’m no molecular biologist, but I do know that what happens in the thighs, stays on the thighs. It is a brutal consequence of life. Ratify the Reality! Own Your Fat!
We welcome the coming year. Dennis’ blood draw to determine his tumor markers will occur Thursday morning. We are preoccupied at the moment, not thinking about it. We will continue to not think about it until we get the results. Not thinking about things is exhausting.
And then we will sing “Auld Lang Sein,” and retire to our recliners for the annual collapse. This is good.
Happy New Year! And “God bless us, Every One.”