Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Eve And Ever After

We have made it through Christmas Eve.  While our hearts were not in tune with the season, for whatever the reason, we made it through.

My Son had been asking for a video camera.  This amazing 12 yr old man child is driven to make, direct and produce his own films.  Like most children, I have watched him pass through one phase of interest after another.  For years, and I do mean years, he loved Transformers and then the movies.  But what I saw was that he was as much intrigued by the making of the movies as the movies themselves.  Slowly, the topic went from wanting to watch the movies to wanting to make the movies.  He learned how to shoot videos, edit them on the computer and create his own short videos.  His passion to do this has only grown with time.

When his used camera failed, all I heard was how he needed another camera.  They aren't cheap and I knew Christmas was coming.  I decided to do my best to get him one if I could afford to do so.  As the months went by and the holidays grew closer, the questions from him regarding a camera increased.  I think he was trying to make sure that I knew he needed one.  Like I could ever forget!

The week before Christmas, we were able to secure the video camcorder.  It was my goal to never let him know it was coming.  The questions about whether or not he would get one continued.  I explained that we had looked for one but the prices were just too high.  I told him if we couldn't get one for Christmas, maybe in the spring we would try again.  This darling  young man would say, "Ok, I understand."  I have been blessed with a very understanding child who while wanting something understands when it doesn't happen.

Christmas Eve finally arrived.  The children were absolutely beside themselves having whipped themselves up emotionally into a frenzy that defies logic.  While My Son knows the deal about Santa, the younger child believed that only good girls and boys would be visited.  And that was true.  During the day, the children did everything they could to jump from the Good List to the Naughty List.  They simply couldn't help themselves.  It was as if they were determined to sabotage the only chance for Santa to come and bring gifts.  They fussed and fought, everyone was fighting with everyone and oh BA HUMBUG was growing in our house.  More than once, we called Christmas off due to the arguing.

As evening fell, we decided to force the children to watch a movie to kill time and to give them a final chance to coexist in some sense of harmony.  We made pallets on the floor in front of the TV and made sure there were pillows and blankets so they would be comfortable.  They were close to each other but not too close. Plenty of opportunity to blow their last chance.

We watched "A Christmas Story", a movie well known for the Red Rider BB Gun and "you'll shoot your eye out."  The children did well and when the movie came to the part where Ralphie opens up his present but never sees the prized BB gun, I thought of my son.  I watch as Ralph sat in mature disappointment at Christmas coming and leaving without a BB gun to call his own.  I watched his dad spy some present tucked beside the furniture and Ralphie open it to find what he's been wanting for so long. That part brings a tear to my eye as for a moment, I remember what it's like to be a kid on Christmas Eve.  I can remember disappointment and joy even thought I can't recall wanting something as badly as Ralphie wanted the BB gun or My Son wanted the video camera.

After the movie, we did the Santa deal and then the children were opening their gifts.  My Son opened his gifts with no idea that what he wanted was there.  I saw the face of delight and joy, just as I had seen in the movie only a short time earlier.

While we had felt a lack of Christmas spirit all season long, while we had struggled to make Christmas happen, while we fought to keep the kids on the Good List, we found something we did not expect.  We didn't expect the quiet enjoyment of a movie in a room decorated with a beautiful tree and shining white lights.  We didn't expect time together void of anger and frustration, but we had it.  We didn't expect an evening of laughter and surprises and we found it.

If things had been any different, if we had done this evening any other way than what we did, we would have missed those things in the hustle and bustle of activity.  For us, a quiet Christmas and what it gave us, was the best gift we could have asked for.

We hope that you and yours had a very Merry Christmas and that the New Year will bring the promise of endless possibilities.

No comments:

Post a Comment