A Christmas love letter to my mom.
Re-posting today, it's original publish date was 12/21/11.
I hope you like it.
It's really true that kids say the funniest things. Since my mom broke her shoulder and can't help me with the kids, my Christmas shopping has been a mess to say the least. There have been many times that Caitlin and I go out after Daddy gets home from work. Caitlin now refers to this as night shopping.
We were in the car and from the backseat, over the Christmas music she just has to listen to, I hear this little voice say, "I love night shopping". I asked her to repeat it, and indeed, we were night shopping. Then it reminded me that my mom and I went night shopping all the time.
So I told Caitlin that since Grandma was a working mom, Grandma and I used to night shop all the time. I think that my mom and I night shopped every holiday. It's the memories though that are so sweet and precious to me. The idea that my mom made every Christmas prosperous, when it indeed wasn't. How she turned even the most unfortunate events into something magical.
I never knew of financial strain all those Christmases. Like the Christmases when the car broke down, or the rent was late. The year we went Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve is one of my favorite and most fun Christmas memories. I didn't know it was because Christmas Eve was on pay day, and we had to wait to buy gifts. I had no idea that buying a mini Christmas tree was a necessity and not a new fun holiday tradition to try. I had no idea that that huge and magnificent over 6 foot Christmas tree was indeed a discarded tree because of the big holes and missing branches. My mom made it beautiful, O Christmas tree indeed.
All those years in "Dance and Twirl". All those weeks leading up to Christmas spent in the car. Driving to performances. The hours my mom spent on costumes, tights, and "secret Santa" gifts for the under 11 set. How on earth did she make that all work, and hold down a full time job, and be a wife? We laugh at all the dinners we ate in the car during those holiday seasons. Back when I could eat McDonald's. She once told her friend that if she didn't let me eat in the car, I would never eat. This is mostly true. Now, buying your kids McDonald's is frowned upon, but I still do it. Especially this time of year. The smell alone transports me back to some of my happiest and most beloved Christmases.
It's amazing what Mom are capable of doing. I'm learning everyday. We can change the direction of things. Turn mountains back into mole hills. All my childhood Christmases are filled with wonderful memories. There was no want. There was no scrooge. There was only love, laughter, and that one thing I just had to have, was always under the tree. Somehow she always managed to get me just what I asked for.
Night shopping with Caitlin is not a necessity for us. I get the privilege of staying home with my girls. A luxury many don't have. But, I know that it's the little things that children remember. Sights, smells, and little shopping adventures. So I think we will continue to night shop, even after Christmas.