Wake up, it's Christmas mournI'm stealing a few moments for some latin between peanut butter and banana sandwiches and turkey proper. The turkey smells heavenly, we put it in just before lunch so it will be ready in hours. I need to go soon and pat it with more butter, lingering in the warm kitchen for a bit. Puttering.
Those loved have long since gone
The stockings are hung but who cares
preserved for those no longer there
six feet beneath me sleep
Christmas this morning was a laid-back, relaxed endeavor. Coffee, juice and icing-sugar doughnuts and a quick dog-walk in the blizzard blowing outside. Ben in pajamas. Then Ben in his big warm sweater and jeans. Still riding the ridiculous confidence high of his spotlight among his peers, relishing his chance to serenade us publicly. He and Daniel sang Adeste Fidelis just after the sermon and then at the end of the service Ben sang Red Water (Christmas Mourning). A capella. Alone.
I wondered for a moment if Ben had tricked Sam, or if Sam knew the basis for that song since it's something you would never hear in a church, let alone as part of a Christmas Eve candlelight service, but when I looked at Sam he was mouthing the words, hypnotized by Ben's voice. Sam began his ministry here as such a hard ass and wound up more laid back than Jacob, if that is possible. You'd have to be lying down to be more laid back than Jacob was. Sam has achieved the impossible. Or better yet, has taken Jacob's place in areas I did not expect him to embrace.
I'm losing my train of thought. The phone keeps ringing. People wishing us a Merry Christmas. People complimenting Ben's singing. People telling us they wish us well, they wish we'd stay, they wish I felt differently about how accepted or unaccepted I have felt since moving here. Not that any of it is more than holiday lush-service, since moving is a good thing, not a bad thing, and since most people have already lit into the wine or brandy. The blizzard here means wherever you are is wherever you will stay for the remainder of today and maybe tomorrow too. I'm almost glad for that. It's a quiet little Christmas where we had strict rules. Presents must fit in the palm of one's hand, must cost under a thousand dollars and we must enjoy every moment because time is running out on routine here and our snowglobe is due to be picked up and shaken hard. Or so says Christian and I believe him.
And so Ben ticked off everything on my list this year, bringing me Mary Weiland's book and the Blackberry Bold 2 (the 9700) that I've been seriously coveting since using the Bold 9000 for work. This Bold kicks that Bold's ass alllllllll around the room and I love it to pieces and him too. He is my gift. Every damned day.
The kids loved all their presents too. They got pajamas and books and games but the best gift of all for the children and for Bridget was Ben going to Build-a-Bear and while we thought we were just checking it out and then left to continue browsing in another shop, Ben wondered aloud if he had locked the truck and went to check.
Lo and behold this morning Ruth, Henry and I opened our own custom-chosen bears, made by Ben, who says he stood on the pedal to stuff them and chose hearts to put inside and made the wishes and everything else you have to do to make a bear, plus he recorded a goodnight message for each of us to listen to when we miss him, which plays when you squeeze a paw. Which made all four (okay twelve) of us cry and I don't think anyone could have come up with a better gift unless it included winning the lottery and paying off the record company so he would be released from his obligations once and for all.
I will squeeze the paw on my patchwork bear to hear Ben's voice every night that he is away from us and I will laugh when I think of him having to go through the 'construction' process at the workshop with the workers in their aprons and then having to sit and fill out birth certificates for the bears on the low stools meant for people much smaller than he is.
He didn't think it would mean so much but it does. It means more than he'll ever understand. It's such a departure from belting out holidayesque gothic metal songs in a darkened church or skating out of his net swinging in the middle of a friendly hockey game. It gives his big scarred boyheart a new purpose and it makes him the giant goof that makes Christmas fun, bringing light and music to a house ruled by the tiny glowing-haired tyrant and her ghosts of Christmas past.
Dinner will be ready in just under two hours. I have turkey, stuffing, gravy, braided buns, baby red potatoes, peas, wine, cranberry juice and chocolate cake and fruit for dessert. Plus we have Christmas crackers to pull with trinkets inside, which always brings a mad effort on part of Benjamin and PJ to set the table on fire with the biggest sparks they can make. That probably wasn't a good idea but I won't leave the crackers off the table, because they contain our crowns, and dammit, this Christmas in this kingdom, we are royalty.
Red water chase them awayMerry Christmas to you all. Hope you have snap-crackers, turkey and loved ones to enjoy tonight too.
My tables been set for but seven
just last year I dined with eleven
goddamn ye merry gentlemen
Whoa mistletoe (It's growing cold)
I'm seeing ghosts (I'm drinking old)