Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday Before Christmas

Saturday night church service. I cried when a regular member of the congregation read aloud something she'd written about God's faithfulness in her life. Those 5 minutes were "church" for me, and I just got sleepy after 20 minutes of a sermon. Why do preachers preach for so long? Please be quiet, preachers, and let regular folks talk more often.

Sunday morning slow wake-up. Abe wakes up too early and as he sits on the pot to pee, tells me nonstop talk talk talk about a dream he'd been having. We both fall back to sleep. Breakfast of egg scramble that looks unintentionally Christmasy with red peppers and spinach. Winco bagels, the best in the city.

We wear our pajamas until well after noon. I'm cleaning. I'm making room for what's under the tree, putting old toys in boxes into the attic. Hair is the proverbial "rat's nest" as I sweep and dust and change sheets on beds and switch the laundry.

I shower. I put on sweats. I go to the store for a few ingredients for "cracker candy" and gumbo. I buy the 99 cent gallon of milk that's on sale but worry about it not being 'rsbt free'. I figure one gallon won't hurt us too bad. Except I bought two.

A friend comes over for tea. At 3:30 in the afternoon, we have PGTips, and she turns down my offer of a Moonstruck Chocolates mint chocolate we had, a surprise gift from someone who "elved" us this weekend by leaving treats on our front porch, hopefully not laced with poison.

We walk down the street to take a bottle of wine to friends who just moved in, a "welcome to the neighborhood" gift. We are happy and lucky to have them here. The four kids jump crazily around the house singing while I'm given a tour of the new digs. We walk with another neighbor to buy her Christmas tree. She'd brought along her wagon.

The lot owners give the kids free peppermint sticks. I'm standing under cover with the new neighbor talking about schools when it starts to snow. The kids are running in and out of the trees. The flakes get bigger. We're given coupons for free hot chocolates at a treat-shop across the street. It's close to dinner-time but also it's the holidays so what the heck? We get our free hot chocolate.

The walk home is misery. Cold, wet, snowy misery. My face hurts from huge flakes of wet snow landing on my forehead and melting there. My neighbor with the new Christmas tree she's pulling in a red flyer wagon says we look like a Norman Rockwell painting. Except more grumpy.

Inside, in warmth. Suddenly very tired. The boys eat leftover lentil soup for dinner as I mop, my last big cleaning chore. Ted leaves to watch a movie with some friends, and I bathe Abe, being sure to warm the bottle of lotion in the bath before getting him out, truly a pretty nifty trick when I remember to do it.

He's shivering, so I put a sweater on him over his pajamas, and we start watching Elf, one of my top five favorite Christmas movies. I cry every time Christmas cheer gets Santa's sleigh off the ground in Central Park and laugh like a ten-year-old boy when Buddy burps at dinner. While the movie is playing on my computer, I make a big batch of cracker-candy followed by a pot of gumbo, recipes handed down from my sister (candy) and neighbor (gumbo).

I get the roux just right. It's dark enough but not burnt. I forget the okra but add it later.

I make a small batch of popcorn on the stove, with nutritional yeast, just the way we like it, and finish the movie sitting down with Abe. Whew. Then downstairs to fold the last load of laundry, load up the basket and take it upstairs. By this point, I'm tired. Officially.

We pee and brush teeth and sit in Abe's newly sparse room (to be refilled with really cool stuff in a few days) to read and sing our favorite songs with all the key words substituted with the word "sock," which Abe sleeps with every night.

"Jingle Sock, Jingle Sock, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to sock in a one-horse open sock..."

I cradle our son in my arms, his thumb in his mouth, looking up into my eyes, and smiling at the songs I'm making up. I feel the tiredness in my bones. I love this boy. I am excited about Christmas. I wish preachers would stop talking after 20 minutes. I want for Santa to bring me an increase of faith this year, to truly believe that God won't rest until all his sheep are home. I hope everyone like the cracker candy and my family likes the gumbo. I pray our dear friend from Cambridge, England makes it here before Christmas, currently late because Heathrow airport it shut down due to bad weather. I pray for a few hours to go watch The King's Speech. I pray for a good night's sleep and that Princess Bee is here soon.

This was our Sunday.


Jill said...

love this post. but winco, best bagels in the city. really??

coffeemom said...

Heaven in our hands: Sundays like this.

The Soucys said...

I pray that Lori Rooney one day writes a book because she has me on the edge of my seat when she writes like this.

Gretchen said...

I love your Sunday....

Ans also? I have to agree with the whole Winco thing. Truly outstanding bagels.

Anonymous said...

I should have put Moonstruck Chocolate on my list of things I miss most about Oregon.

m&r said...

It's probably a sign I am spending too much time on facebook, but I so wanted to hit the "like" button on this! Great post about what sounds like a great day!!

Christine said...

This was lovely. You should write a book, this was transporting. I was there.