I know what you’re thinking–did Mom disappear because she finally fell off the deep end? If she’s gone, does that mean I can have her slice of pie? Thank you for your most heartfelt concern but no, I am still here. These last couple of months have been a little hairball between the mountain of activities you and your sister are involved with and the fact that I’ve been holding a little part-time job on the side in addition to my steady and neverending mom/wife/woman/human being duties. One day you will be in a situation where you will be faced with so much work that you won’t have a clue where to start. This is usually the point where I just throw up my hands and take a nap. Naps are always necessary especially when facing a heap of responsibility. I’m happy you share in my same sentiment.
Last month, with your teeball wrapping up and your sister trying to participate in every activity under the sun, I was actively looking for something for you to join to give you a little outlet. Our neighbor, Daniel, belongs to a karate dojo and gave you a trial membership to give it a try. You’re a hyper, physical boy who likes to fight with inanimate objects so I thought you would be 1000 percent excited to join in. I was surprised when asked if you wanted to do karate and you immediately turned bashful and said you didn’t want to do karate for fear that other kids would kick you. What? Like this concept has never crossed your mind while playing with the neighborhood kids in the court when you play ninjas with branch swords?
We were able to clarify that you weren’t going to karate to be pummeled by the other children–it was all in the name of fun. Besides, if you protect yourself, it won’t hurt as badly. That and I promised you a cookie if you tried it. You were ecstatic on your first day and proudly walked in and were ready to practice your ninja abilities. This was supposed to be an activity solely for you since Olivia does many things that you have to sit and watch. This dojo is apparently skilled in the suckering of parents because they somehow talked Olivia into trying it as well.
It wasn’t a terrible program. In fact, I really loved the positive messages they discussed at each class–teaching you words of the week like: perseverance, choices, responsibility, etc. They had a set of rules that had to be followed in the dojo in addition to at home. Rules like listening to your parents, saying please and thank you, being polite to your siblings and so on. If at any time these rules were broken, the parents could notify the dojo by removing a piece of tape that was placed on your karate belt. If your teachers saw the tape was missing, you had to talk to them about what had happened. I must say, this was an absolute brilliant tactic on their part. You and Olivia are bickering at each other and I could bellow from the other room, DO I NEED TO TAKE THE PIECE OF TAPE OFF YOUR BELT?! You two would scurry off faster than cockroaches. Despite this, we decided not to continue with karate. At the end of the day, they are a business–a very lucrative business that would require me to take out a second mortgage if I allowed you and your sister to continue. I’ll pass at this investment for now.
We are fully immersed in the holidays now which for me, despite the stress of everything else, always remains my favorite time of the year. You’re still just young enough that I can embarrass you with elf pajamas and festive accessories. I have to get this sort of thing in now before you realize what the hell it is I’m making you wear. The time will soon come and I will be deeply depressed.
I’ve been busy with this part-time gig but I was determined to continue with my holiday advent calendar which I can proudly say, is starting to create some nice holiday traditions. I’m happy to see you and Olivia look forward to certain things that happen around this time of year like the ice cream sundae for dinner or the holiday drive where we go around looking at Christmas lights. I always like to introduce a few new things every year to keep it exciting and this year, I felt like you two were old enough to participate in the giving back portion of the season. On one day, I had planned for the two of you to go to the toy store to pick out one toy each to donate. You both were extremely confused at the thought. You kept trying to bring me toys from Olivia’s room to donate. Nice try. No, I explained that children in need deserve new toys. Not your toys that you’ve thrown at Olivia’s head a million times. Her head is extremely large and dense and does a number on your toys.
We went to the toy store and Olivia was quick to pick out a toy and you were excited to find a Ninja Turtle for our giving endeavor. We arrive at the Ninja Turtle aisle and after reminding you for the fifth time that this would not be for you but for another child, you quickly determined that you didn’t want to give them a Ninja Turtle toy but instead wanted to find a coin bank instead. Yes, Miles–that’s a horrible idea to give the poor kid a place to stash all his coins. Clearly the poor kid is rolling in so much money that he needs a system to keep it all organized. After explaining to you that you’re being an insensitive asshole (not really), I persuaded you to find an actual toy that a child can play with and would find some actual joy from. After watching your face contort in to a bevy of emotions, you picked out a Raphael figurine.
Toys-R-Us has the bins for Toys-4-Tots in store but I wanted to make this moment even more special by taking you to the fire department to drop the toy off yourself. Most of the fire stations in the area have drop-off spots so I thought it would be relatively easy to go this route. What I didn’t take take in to account was the massive rain storm the evening of our gift-giving and the fact that most fire stations hide their public entrances. After entering many restricted areas and being blinded by headlights and biblical proportions of rain, we decided to donate our toys a different day.
We were successful at finding a drop-off location the next day and I must say how extremely proud I am of the two of you for handling the situation so well. There you two were, with bright shiny new toys that you both wanted and you were able to hand them over to someone else you don’t even know. Bravo and the spirit of Christmas can continue for another day. Or until you smack your sister with a candy cane that you’ve shaved down to a point.
Christmas is just a few days away and despite my effort to keep the gift-giving small, you’re still going to have a lovely holiday. Tradition and memories are what I fight hard for this time of year and dammit, I’m determined to make it count. YOU WILL LOVE CHRISTMAS AND YOU WILL SPREAD HOLIDAY CHEER FOR ALL TO HEAR! On that note, Merry Christmas my darling boy and let’s not get sick or end up in the ER this holiday like year’s past. That is not part of the advent calendar therefore there is no time for it. And in case you’re wondering why you’re looking like you’re posing in most of the pictures. According to you, “this is my fierce face.” Well done, son.