The Day after

I promised a Christmas story to myself…but it never came. No, that’s not right. The ones that came were not stories I wanted to write. Not stories I wanted to unearth and know.

It was a wonderful Christmas this year, full of love and peace, accentuated perhaps not by my own loss, but by the loss endured over the holidays by members of my family, my friends, and my neighbours. I didn’t want to write a sad piece, and in the end, only tidbits were created but never put down. A sort of memoir type mini piece (even though I don’t write memoir) is at the forefront, and I thought here would be a good place to let it out while free-writing.

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He sat at the table, his face long, twirling the heavy fork. It kept falling out of his hand, clattering among the cups and knives discarded on the table, but no one said anything to him. No one even looked at him, and if they did it was only to pity him, and quickly look away. Too much loss, too much of a reminder of what can be taken, when on Christmas one hopes only to receive.

I open my eyes, the memory of his somber gaze fading although Christmas was only yesterday. I force it away, pushing it further. Happiness comes with acceptance of grief. I listen. I hear sounds and laughter, children, my children, and I know they sit among the mountain of gifts they received.

I move so that I can peer at them, without interfering. It is like watching a scene out of a book. If I had created it myself I could not have done better. Somehow everything I had imagined as a child is now before me. The tree, chosen after a sleigh ride, chopped, and driven home from the country-side strapped to the car roof. The fire-place roars. Large windows let in light that shimmers reflected off the snow. My husband, a grin so large that I can climb inside, a steaming mug in his hand, watches them as I do, except he is among them.

I had laughed yesterday, moments after offering my condolences, and then I had wondered if this was inappropriate. Was it to be a somber day? What was it I had said to another a day or two ago, after she had suffered her own loss – ah yes…we go on. I could laugh today, I could smile. But, while I did, I thought of yet another loss. I did not think there was any smiles in that household on this day, not when a young one is taken. I’m sorry for your pain, I whisper, and I let it go.

I do not know when my Christmas wishes changed, when I began to know that a home and a family truly are a gift. Does this mean I have grown up a bit more even though I still feel I am a child?

It is the day after Christmas, and as I type I listen to my husband telling the children they have to wait thirty minutes for the icing on the gingerbread house to dry before decorating. The baby, asleep on my chest, takes a deep breath. The children are off, their feet pattering as I imagine Donner’s and Blitzen’s do. My husband turned bear rubs his long back against the door frame. I blink quickly, and smile. Everything is just as it was.

———

On Christmas Eve I bought a book at the pharmacy. It’s red and shiny and has a gift on the cover with a giant bow. And it’s called – you got it – The Gift, by Cecelia Ahern. I had read The Book of Tomorrow by her, and it had gotten me through a tough spell with baby, so I thought this would a fun holiday read. Waiting on my bookshelf is The Solitude of Prime Numbers, and The Girl With the Pearl Earring. It is a fun story, a little cliché, but that’s ok. It has some problems, that I think could have been easily fixed (mostly in back story), but I forgive it, because it doesn’t really matter – I’m talking as a reader here, not a writer!

Are there any book you’ve read that you forgive its flaws, because the rest of the book was good? It’s Christmas season after all!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!





A Writer’s Day Off

Warmth. Sun. Co-operative kids. Not words that come together too often, so I decided to take advantage and READ! Yes, this is how I spend my off time.

The four boys (one of them mine, the other three are The Neighbors) were installed in the shade with a pile of Lego.

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No running, yelling – this was quiet time!

My young daughter had the swing to herself – she didn’t have to fight any older boys for it.

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As for me, I enjoyed myself thoroughly…..

What am I reading, you may ask?
That’s for an upcoming post – but I’ll give you a hint. One journalist says this Canadian author won the “literary lottery”.

The Unexpected Pleasures in Publication…

In the last few months I have decided to crawl out my writer’s hole and begin attempting to enter the world of published authors. So far it has been a very positive experience, and not as harrowing as I had feared.

When I announced a publication to my children who are 3 and 5, I was surprised by my 5-year old staring at me intently.

“I didn’t know you could do that, Mama,” he said. This wasn’t the first time I had a publication, but it was the first time he understood what it meant.

He promptly plucked a flower (not from our yard – oops), and presented it to me!

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I’ve placed it on my desk, as a reminder of all the good things that come – especially those we never anticipated.

My pre-schooler…..the writer.

My 3-year-old daughter came to see what I – her mama – was working on so intently. It was a warm sunny day, and we haven’t had many of those yet, and here I was, sitting in the backyard, typing away on my laptop  (I’m writing my second novel). She told me she wanted to write a story as well! I looked at  her and then pulled her onto my lap.

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The Pretty Princess Bedtime Story

Ariel was not tired.
Dadda said, “You have to go to bed.” And, he made an angry face.
And she said, “No. I do not want to go to bed. Now, please let me play all by myself.”
(So the Dadda thought, and thought, and thought some more. Then, he had an idea.
“Would you like to be a Bedtime Princess?” he asked.)
Ariel said, “I want to go to bed now, Dadda.”

The sentences in brackets are my words – the rest is hers entirely! Not bad for a just turned three year old!

Now, I’ll just have to find an illustrator – lucky for us, there is one in the family! (hint hint.) You can find her here: acorn mama .

Oh, and we have to write it first, of course…lambs_ivy_bedtime_la_petite_princess_toddler_set_babiesrus_s2_

This experience has me wondering why I never did this before.
I do all different types of art with the kids, and I read to them ALL the time, why had I never thought to have them write a story, especially since I am writer?