They would be teenagers now, those crusted-nose, mismatch-socked, pig-tailed grinning first graders.
On December 14 there were presents already hidden in closets and drawers of dressers or out under the tree (Santa gives gifts but so do parents) and I wonder, what did parents do with those gifts after December 14? Ten days ’til Christmas Eve.
Were siblings giddy on Christmas morning, and then stopped and remembered? Did a mother forget a gift she’d bought and hid in the upper left cupboard above the washer, finding it three years later when the family packed to move from Sandy Hook to Anywhere Else, and with the thud of sudden remembrance found herself trembling, scraping at the tape, sure and unsure of what was inside?
The sermon is based on John 9:1-7. The title is “Everything Happens for a Reason.” If you, too, are done with that saying, click here to listen to the person who inspired me to delete that phrase from my vocabulary.
Mom doesn’t want you to waste money on flowers and doesn’t want the hairdresser to give her any volume. She doesn’t wear pants so snug they’ll show her figure, doesn’t mind eating leftovers to spare the rest of us, doesn’t drive a Prius for ecology, just economy.
But when she read to me she read with enthusiasm. Not with impressions, like Dad, but at least with interest. Can a person be both practical and have a flair for the dramatic? Can she be no-nonsense and at least a little whimsical? I don’t remember the titles of any of the books from my childhood (other than Let’s Talk About Whining), but I know she read to me, with flair, and I know such a thing is to be canonized.