Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Perfection at Postal Service

Nothing says Christmas to me like the post office.  Being there sending something to a far away friend or family member, watching others packing bright gifts up to send, or gathering up their mail and packages from vacation hold.  It's pretty magical that I can send a card from here to Alaska or Hawaii or New York for less than $0.50 (can't even buy a soda for that!).  I enjoy the post office normally, but especially during holiday season.  I get a lift from sending packages or cards.  Once, more than several years ago, I was the sobbing girl at the counter, missing my husband, sending him a package in hopes that he'd have a bit of Christmas whilst we were so far apart.  On the other hand, if a package arrives with my (or my daughters') name I simply cannot leave it un-opened...packages that aren't addressed to me are almost too too tempting, also!

I digress.  The First Born wanted to send something to her little friends for Christmas, I suggested silly bands and the hand made cards she put together all by herself, I made custom envelopes with her appointed color for each of them.  This afternoon we wait in line at the USPS office, she's chatting away with random abandon, and notices two soldiers at the counter.  "Hey, Mama, they're wearing funny shirts!"
I explain, "Well, they're wearing uniforms, sweetheart, they're soldiers."
"Why are there soldiers, Mama?" 
"Because sometimes we need them to help keep us safe."
"They travel a long way, to different countries, don't they?"
"Yes, sometimes, usually they're away.  But it's Christmas-time and lots of them get to come home to be with their families."
There was some talk of shooting and hunting...sometimes soldiers are hunters, but not all hunters are soldiers.  Then,
"Can I go talk to them?"
"Well, can you wait until after they're done with their business at the counter?"
"Yes.  Then I want to tell them, 'Thank you for keeping us safe, and Merry Christmas!' "
So she waits, and I wait, teary eyed, the Ergo-ed Baby E makes exclamatory remarks"BbAH, AgH, BbAH!".  A couple of minutes and it's mission accomplished, the gentlemen smile and wave as they head back outdoors.  Sweet Miss Monkey then makes her way to the counter to send off her small presents. 

While I fully recognize the differences in the armed forces and their compartmentalized duties, 'keep it simple' is best sometimes.  And anyone who serves to protect the general populace such that we are safe everyday; Police & Fire, Sheriff, National Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, BIG WONDERFUL HOLIDAY THANK YOU!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In the basement...

There's a bike.  It's from Santa, and it's supposed to be hidden until the big day.  But today in classic 4 year old fashion F went downstairs to look for her blankie that had gone missing almost 2 full days ago.  She does an odd (hereditary on her Papa's side I think) thing...she looks for the missing item in places where it couldn't possibly be.

Down to the basement she went, and excitedly returns to me to report that there's "something down there, it's purple and white with flowers! it's a big girl bike, Mama!"

I play cool, "Oh?  hmm, well, I don't know what you're talking about."

"Well, come and see!"

"No.  I'm not going downstairs...." then cheerfully, lightly,
"That's not our space down there, Ms. Landlay-Dee is storing things down there.  I'm not going down there, it's not our space remember?  And you're not to go down there either."

She did try to get down there once more, but was diverted cleverly with other Christmasey things to be done.

Crisis averted?  We'll see.  The Man already went to do some magic downstairs, so hopefully I'll just use my considerable tools of Denial and Distraction to pretend like nothing happened.

Christmas now? christmas not?

Gifting.  It's one of my truly favorite things to do for holidays.  But I'm past the buying of an item in order to have something to give.  If it's not applicable, interesting, or something I think the person will really enjoy, I just don't see the point.  Do I really need to gift more stuff to people that I'm certain have too much stuff already?  Because really what happens with the item that I thought would have some's lost in all the rest of the stuff.  Christmas is hard when there's not enough money to buy a lot of stuff, mostly 'cause we've been so very conditioned to associate the season with shopping rather than giving.  I recently heard someone remark that his new daughter-in-law typically spends upwards of $4k for holiday shopping.  Wow.  But then right now, $100 is too much and $100k isn't enough.  I find myself looking for, finding, and defining more meaning in this year's celebration.  This has been catalyzed by having children.  With the First Born's first Christmas, the re-birth of the new year, solstice, etc. began to have weight to them.  Now that we are enjoying and learning a new philosophy with Mile Hi Church of Religious Science things are more and more meaningful.  The senior minister said recently that birth of the christ child represents the birth of highest consciousness within ourselves, and the manger is our heart.  Call it Buddha-self, Christ consciousness, walking with Tao, it's all Truth, the Golden Thread that binds all walks of faith.

Anyway, this has been a year of growth, learning, and deepening our relationships---especially now since we're staying 'round here in Denver area!  Such a relief to know that we're not leaving, the stress of possibly re-establishing community is gone.  But then the flip side is that I now must be comfortable with reality of real grown-up friendships where people have seen my imperfections, and like me anyway.  So my gifts this year are less monetary, less stuff, and more of the intangible.  The things that I learn, that I might pass them on to my girls; my experience, strength and hope that I might share with others, that just might help someone some how.  I truly do live in abundance and I am so grateful.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Baby E

She wrings her hands and her toes when really upset, she already has tears.  Sucks her right thumb and fiddles her ear when drifting to sleep.  She has a tooth now, and trembles with excitement when being fed.  With her first bites, squeals and exclamations were so exuberant I thought she might choke.  Uses fat fingers to attempt Happy Puffs o's into her open drooling mouth, succeeds almost half the time.  She sits, she sways, rocks, and planks; she seems totally content on her back holding her feet, not quite crawling, though certainly on the verge, I might describe her as nonchalant about very idea. 

Her chubby legs and feet barely fit the "12 month" size socks we picked up, the polka-dots stretch to ovals.  That sweet-sweet face sleeping soundly in the bed as I sneak from under-covers to have a few moments of my own before the day begins.  The fussing at night as been barely bearable, as I'm trying not to bring her to bed, and not to nurse her between 10p and 5a.  In the morning she looks at me bright-eyed, as if to deny that siren-wail baby ever existed.  She's attached, and that's good though it makes my getting moment's peace a lot less likely.  Her scrunched-nose scowl 'n' wiggle-sway keeps us giggling, a sure sign of a pleased baby here. 

Oh, how we love the baby-love.