Posted by: angelnorman | December 8, 2010

when all else fails, there are cookies

Last night I asked my boys to go for a ride in the car with me to look at Christmas lights. It’s one of those “we need some Christmas magic right now” traditions of ours, and we do it every year at some point. Sometimes at multiple points. Whenever the mood for Christmas beauty strikes I guess. We load up in the car, grab us some snacks, and head out in search of pretty lights.

Well last night, the mood so happened to strike me at dinnertime. We piled up into the car, deciding we’d pick up some fast food and head to a house in Murfreesboro that has its lights programmed to music, which you can play in your car if you tune to the homeowner’s personal radio station. Nick fussed and whined about our dinner choice. He didn’t want Wendy’s, he wanted McDonald’s. (They have Transformer toys right now, see.) And oh how he and Mike argued and grumbled and acted completely un-cheerful.  It made me sad, because all I wanted was to see something pretty, to marvel in it with my boys, to enjoy the time in the car and to have peace and quiet. And then it made me angry.

“Look, y’all!” I said finally. “I just want to have a good night.”

Well then Nick started crying because he knew he was ruining my night but he couldn’t help it because he wanted McDonald’s and didn’t think he’d be able to eat Wendy’s. And he pretty much fussed and cried until he fell asleep on the drive, even after he was already eating.

I told Mike we should just turn around and go back home.

Mike said we should not, that we could still enjoy the lights.

We got there and admired the lights. Nick woke up just in time to see them. He asked a thousand-and-one questions: how do the lights move? how can he use a computer to control the lights? how does he get the grass to light up? how come he gets to do lights outside and we don’t?

We all thought about what it would be like for the traffic on our street if we were like the house on Hamilton Dr. We live on a dead end… people would be causing all sorts of traffic jams and possible wrecks if we did that.

Nick thought that was funny. Mike reminded me of that time that his sister Heather was coming over, and traffic was being re-directed from the main road, so all these cars followed Heather to our house thinking she knew how to detour, when really she’s not at all familiar with this area. We all laughed about that.

Nick said he wanted our house to have lights that you could see outside and “not inside only”. I told him we did have lights– I had little candles in the window. He said he had never seen them, and then when we turned into our driveway, we all cracked up because I had only turned one Christmas candle light on that day… so only one little candle burned and Mike said, “There ya go, Nick. That’s our Christmas decor right there. Merry Christmas.”

And oh how we laughed at our lack of decor.

Then Nick said, “Mommy and Daddy…” He stopped for a minute then continued. “I hope you do have a merry Christmas.”

And he was sincere. And my heart warmed.

Inside we had cookies, homemade ones that I baked the day before, straight from our cookie jar. We watched Tom and Jerry till bedtime.

And we all went to bed early, content and filled up on the  sort of magic I needed… the togetherness, the laughter, the love.

And the cookies.

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