Friday, December 28, 2012

The Christmas Carol Card

This is a Christmas Card we received from a family member. They are both older and had some surgeries this year, yet it was a surprise to get this kind of card in the mail from them! Expecting the usual picture of their faces,  instead we got the X-Ray version of what was going on.

This card made me laugh. Then cry. I wanted to use it. It could not have been further from the truth for me, either!!!!! Or Jaden, really. Considering all the bumps and bruises that came with his first year of Grid Kid this year.

AND it went along with Jaden's assessment of A Christmas Carol- The one with George C. Scott:

J: This is more like a Halloween movie than a Christmas movie, mom.

Me: Well, hold on- wait til the end you'll see it is more of a Christmas movie than ANY of the others.

Not on purpose I ran to grab something during Jacob Marley' s arrival and returned to the living room to see Jaden's back pressed so far into the couch that it left indentations and had his feet tucked between the pillows.  

Me: Ah, shoot. I wanted to see that part!

J: Thanks for leaving me alone!

Poor kid was so frightened, he couldn't even make it outta the couch to another room. And he sat riveted to the movie til the end. -- Because that's where I was and it must have been default.

Not to trivialize J's experience, but in the book Marley, in his hearse, if I recall correctly, comes UP Scrooge's  stairs. Pulled by 6 BLACK horses. So the scene in the beginning that is creepy- a hearse with windows to see inside at the casket and is pulled by two black horses by itself down a creepy street in England is one thing- coming up a flight of stairs with half the blocks lights all knocked out, now that's quite another.

Heck, just writing about it makes me get the shivers. No wonder Eb was confused in his bed as to what the heck was occurring- and I bet he wished he wasn't such a cheap skate when it came to lighting things up cause if you thought that a freight train were coming up your staircase-
 "... and taken it broad wise, with the splinter-bar towards the wall and the door towards the balustrades: and done it easy. There was plenty of width for that, and room to spare;....."

Glad our staircase is relatively small and we don't have balustrades. Even the scary version of A Christmas Carol are tame compared to the book.

Dickens is brilliant. You know that right?

Or do you only know the movie version or abridged versions of Dickens? I did. The Victorian language, although English, is akin to trying to understand urban slang. One day I finally read it. WELL. WORTH> IT.
 It is way longer winded than any text message could hold. All of the beauty of Dickens along with the darkness, the truth, the message; is just NOT present in a movie. There is a lot there if you are willing to read it.

Back to Jaden's induction to this Priceless, overlooked treasure:

J: Is that ghost (of Christmas Present)  STANDING on Ignorance and Want under his robe?

Me: It looks that way.

J: How did they do that? Why is he standing on two kids? Is he a midget?

Me: Well, it's hard to explain. I'm sure he's on a stool behind them and they put make-up on some kids to make them look really scary and destitute.

J: Oh.
George C. Scott after having to look what is under his robe: "Hide them from me. I am unable to look at them."
J: Hide this movie from me! I don't want to see anymore!
Me: Oh, c'mon.

YES, It's Creepy. It's a Dickens, next time we'll have to go with the Disney. 

Dickens isn't even the start of the mental toughness needed, as a child to endure the cold, cruel, long days of December.

Kids go through torture the month of December; They have Elves, like Sting,  stalking; watching their every move.  They have to clean up their rooms,their mouths, make room for new toys, and generally behave in a manner they aren't used to year round. This tension spills out into the classrooms for the teachers. Poor teachers.

Here are some phrases heard in households....

"Santa will come by and see you have enough and just pass over this house.... heck, he may even take the toys you don't play with and give them to someone who would"

"uh-oh, Santa saw that."

For J. to find room in his room for the new stuff was like a death to gift sentence. He'd already had to make room for a basketball court. Remember Bball season collides with the Holiday Seasons?

So right there he had a disadvantage. Add to the fact that I got books from the library like Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids- just didn't help.  (Yes, I got some Christmas books too.)

But he made it.

Granted Christmas Eve he was wound tight as a top.

J: What do I do?

Me: What do you mean, what do you do?

J: When I wake up, can I go upstairs and start opening presents?

Me: No. You wake me up and we all get up and take turns and take pictures of you, opening your presents.

J: What if it's early????

Me: Then you have to wait.


ME: How is it you don't know what to DOI half wonder aloud.

Then I recall he comes from a divorced situation where the holidays are often oddly spent. And sometimes you open gifts at night. Or the day before the holiday. Or the day after. Or.......fill in the blank.

So I had to tell about "back in the olden days" when kids tip toe-ed up the stairs, saw the magic, went down to their rooms and fell back asleep until 8 am and tried to wake up their parents.

 I warned him that if he didn't  go to sleep, Santa couldn't even come by which made it that much more pressure to go to sleep.  Eventually, he drifted off to sleep. I doubt sugar plums danced.
Because through the night I heard him get up several times, he came in and complained about the other family members in the house not in bed yet

J: "That 'stupid guy' isn't even gonna stop here cause Papa is watching Glenn, Gma is up wrapping presents and........"

Me: Wow. You sound angry. This isn't Santa's fault. You just called him "Stupid"! Like he's gonna stop here with that name calling!

J: I know. I just can't sleep. He buried his head in defeat into the pillow.

Me to myself.... I know the feeling. It can get maddening not being able to sleep at night.

I tried to read him some books to put him to calm him, and it put me to sleep. I made him start to read and it put him to sleep!
A deep sonorous breathing from his chest made me feel I could move from my position next to him in the darkness and go to work.  Suddenly,  He sat straight up. I laid down and faked sleep.  Confused and beyond tired, he got up  to use the bathroom. I heard him fumble to the bathroom, find it was occupied and heard his stumbling, shuffling feet down the hall toward the stairs until eventually he regained balance and he took the steps by twos.

Cardinal No-No Rule.. that he had NOT been informed about before he became 9; You DO NOT go upstairs or in the living room until--- well, until waaaaaayyyyy later.

WHY DID I NOT TELL HIM THIS?????????????????????????????

In his absence, I Set my alarm. This was getting to be a painful, tiring joke. He returned upset that Papa scrammed him from the upstairs and told him he was trying to keep him from coming down the chimney. Only to upset J. further.
Somewhere, sometime in that interminable night, the Sand Man really socked it to him and I. We were out. However, my cell alarm buzzed under my pillow and awoke me after only a few minutes into a yummy dream. (that makes you gain weight cause you are on prednisone.) 

 I was up.
Great. Duty done and even ran outta there by Papa who was on Santa detail - to keep him from coming, I was up.

Early morning approached and, finally,  I fell asleep.

A few minutes past and J. was in my room dancing excitedly and begging for me to get up.

I told the child I needed 30. Because it was 4-ish or something.
By the time I dragged myself up there I felt and probably looked like Jacob Marley.

Madre was givin explicit instructions to not take pics of me.

Now, an X-Ray, I have no qualms posting those.
Surprise Gifts that must have come from The Commander in Chief Grinch: A Thermometer. Oh, and a blood pressure cuff. Wasn't expecting those. But I did use Padre's BP cuff a couple times in the last month and he has a thing for having his own stuff. So it was really great Santa stepped in and got me that cuff.
The thermometer was great, tho. Because ours is broken. Enough for tonight. And, Readers, we are glad to be alive.

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