26 December 2013

T'was the Morning After Christmas

I truly hope everyone had a Christmas like mine.

I walked into the kitchen and saw my older son in front of the advent calendar making the gingerbread girl and gingerbread boy kiss.  He was even making the kissy sound.  It was quite a change from the usual noises that come out of his mouth; they sound a lot more life-threatening.  When I asked what he was doing, he turned around fast enough to leave his face behind, and blushed.  I knew he was a softy under all his battles and weapons.

At one point in the day, I had forgotten to take a present with us to the Grandparent's house and I had to drive back home to get it.  I was alone for the first time in two days.  Cranking up the Christmas music, I sang along until "Little Drummer Boy" came on.  I turned the radio off in disgust.  Does anyone actually like that song?

In the quiet of the car, I immediately thought of the morning we'd had of unwrapping presents and watching the kids hug each other in thanks for the gifts they bought each other.  I admit it, I cried.  I was just so grateful for the Season, for our bounty.  I mean, even though I joke about our apartment being tiny, I really can't complain.  We have carpet.  And central heating.  And beds.  And food.  And kissing gingerbread people. And family.  And regular income.  And Truth.  And knowledge.  And so, so much more.

Life is very good.

16 December 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

In honor of my 100th post, I thought I should address a serious matter.  Maybe it's just me, but I think Christmas decorations this year are a little tipsy.

There are the non-conformists, which should be mentioned first at every party.  You know what I'm talking about.  The lights on someone's house are all staid and stationary, except for one grouping that is flashing like it's Mardi Gras.  Or a set of lights that is set on the slowest setting, so it looks like they're taking really long blinks right before falling asleep.  Or blinking like a drunk trying to think.  

But the non-conformist lights are the norm.  This year I've noted a couple other indications that Santa is a little too free with the party punch.

Close to my house there's one sorta like this:

Festive right?  Except for the fact that the two reindeer are totally wasted.  Santa's ready to go, but the deer can't even stand up straight.  They list to the right, like a shipwreck.  Every night.  Dude Santa!  Ease up on the Christmas cheer.

Some friends of ours put up some great animated decorations like this:

Imagine three of these in a row, and the heads are supposed to move up and down at the neck.  Except only the middle one moves.   I couldn't help but think the middle one has been stuck there by the others, smelling the backside of the guy in front of him every night for the entire season.  When I got out of my car, I could almost hear the other two reindeer yukking it up.

To be fair, Santa can't take care of every thing.  Especially not at moments like this:

Two questions:  Why is Santa bathing in someone's front yard?  And two, why does that reindeer look so interested?  

Someone's going on the naughty list.

Happy Holidays!

04 December 2013


We're in the dojong for my son's belt test.  The matted floor has about eight kids kneeling on it for the test in front of their teacher.  The black ceiling is tall enough that we could tip the building on its side and have the same floor space.  Parents of the students have found seats on the side of the mats.

My son is ready for battle in his dobok and yellow belt.  That orange belt is calling his name, and it's all but his.  Just have to pass the test.

I settle myself into one of the remaining faux-leather chairs and admire the general cuteness of my youngest child.

The teacher holds up his hands for quiet and the place deadens.  Then my kid opens his mouth and says in a volume he usually reserves for yelling at his older siblings, "My mom has diabetes."

The teacher smiles.  The parents around me chuckle.  I melt into the bottom of my seat, pasting a smile on my reddened cheeks.

So, my question is this:  When is it okay to start beating your children?