The gingerbread isn't made yet. But the house is decorated and the snow is falling. Christmas tunes are playing and someone is humming along while she wraps gifts. I am tired today, but not from a month of our medical drama, a month of no routine. Not from standing in line juggling packages at the post office nor writing the deep stack of Christmas cards. Do you know how exhausting it is to keep a secret?
I pulled off a good one last night. After our plans to spend Christmas with my parents in Pennsylvania were necessarily scuttled due to M's continued recuperation, Molly decided a couple of weeks ago to book a flight home from Tokyo for Christmas and the two of us kept it a secret...from M, from our family and just about everyone! Under the guise of helping a friend with a holiday surprise for her children, I slipped out to O'Hare in the late afternoon. Though the weather was fine...a rare, calm window in a wild weather week...Molly's flight was delayed and I ended up being gone for over 3 hours. When she finally arrived from her Atlanta connection, we headed home, quickly stopping on the way to pick up a large poinsettia.
When we got to our neighborhood, I dropped her off at the corner of the street, pulled into the driveway and came into the house through the garage, into the kitchen in the back of our house. M jumped right up...What took so long? Where had I gone with Wendy? As I took my jacket off, spinning a tale of my imaginary afternoon exploits, the doorbell rang. He headed down the front hallway to answer it, quickly peeking out the small, high windows of the front door for a preview. Molly, well prompted, held the poinsettia high to obscure any view of her face and as he grabbed the doorknob, he whispered over his shoulder, "It's some goof with a poinsettia". (This line, now destined to become one of those family classics.) When he opened the door, she dropped the plant down and exclaimed, "Merry Christmas, Dad!!" If the pneumonia didn't kill him, this almost did.
Needless to say, we're enjoying a quiet but happy holiday week. Wishing the same for you and hoping that all of your Christmas wishes come true!