Not a Kid Table Was Stirring

As I climbed the ladder into the attic yesterday, I felt an unexpected connection with my dad. How many times did he crawl up tentatively to get lights, old wrapping paper, wreathes, or other Christmas things that someone needed? I used to climb trees, sit on the roof, and scale walls like a monkey. Now, just getting past the fourth step fills me with images of lying on the concrete, waiting for someone to discover me and call 911. He warned me that this would happen. Putting up the outside lights brought memories back as well and I wondered how I got to be the elder in the family?

I was not blessed with a close extended family. We were very close-knit when I was a kid, but I think the last time we got together like we used to do was in 1972. I have an aunt and uncle, four cousins and no telling how many nieces and nephews, because at some point they decided family was about their family. I heard from my aunt when my mom died in 2004, and that was perfunctory at best. My parents are both gone and my only brother has never been about family and he doesn’t even know yet that his mother died. He only showed up to get his presents and ask my parents for money anyway. Good riddance. There’s a kind of abandonment issue that I feel every year at this time, so my new immediate family, which includes Lynette, Joel, Micah, Lauren, Heather and Nathan, means everything to me. They have given me the closeness I’ve always craved and, outside of missing my dad, I’m as happy as can be. But it’s weird being “The Old One”.

Other things–small things–bring happy memories. I bought a bag of nuts and put them in a bowl on the coffee table, along with my parents’ little pine box that houses nutcrackers and picks, and I immediately remembered the wooden bowl that my grandfather had. Sure wish I had one of those! We received a gift box of pears from Harry & David and I was reminded of the fruit and date packs we used to get when I was a child. Making fudge yesterday brought back memories of half-a-dozen sheets of the stuff sitting to cool on the washer and dryer in my aunt’s back porch, which always made coming into the house an exercise in self-control.

And now I find myself wishing there was a grandchild or two–but not yet. Not until I can afford to spoil them rotten! Christmas without children just doesn’t make sense. I mean, what’s the point? There’s not even a “Kid Table”.

1 comment :

  1. I understand the grandchildren bit. The trick is getting the children - mine, anyway - to make them a little bit more accessible, a task made more difficult by the fact that they’re 375 miles away.


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