Thursday, December 25, 2014

Onesies for Christmas

Stepping away from a lovely morning with my wonderful sons and husband, I am reminded of Christmases long ago and how they were not as nice as they have been since creating our own holiday traditions.  Shopping this year, numerous times I came across these onesie contraptions and shuddered at the thoughts of Christmas past.  So while I am thinking of this long forgotten, wiped from my memory, tradition, I offers another view of an essay I wrote some years back.  Happy holidays to all.  Wishing you joyous traditions, memories and love. -e

Onesies for Christmas

Forever Lazy, Funzie, Jumpin’ Jammerz, Big Feet PJS, Rompers.  You know ‘em, you love ‘em, footie pajamas….. on someone else.  Especially now at my age.

Considering my on again, off again hot flashes, I imagine trying to get out of one of these contraptions only to have to jump right back in again.

I don’t know when this tradition officially started.  There are the few pictures of me as a baby, where I believe I was actually wearing these delightful jammies.  You know what I am talking about; those onesies, footed pj’s that made it impossible to pee without having to totally strip naked and by that time you it had already happened, so why bother getting up in the middle of the night anyway — that’s what they make diapers for…

Moving forward, I am in my tweens.  Christmas at our house was a Charlie Brown tree (the cheapest Dad could find), one, maybe two, sets of lights, and a couple of boxes of Styrofoam balls with colored silk thread.  Ours had tassels from the decades old thread detaching itself, making them look like my dad’s bald head in the morning, with the comb-over not combed over.  Bottom line, they were old and worn out and blue.  I hid when Ma said come down and let’s put up the tree.  It was done it five minutes anyway.

Christmas morning was also a delight.  We all jumped out of bed, hoping Santa had somehow transformed Charlie Brown’s tree into The Walnut Room tree, and each year we were greeted by that mangy twig and one present each.  Mind you, we were not poor by any means.

One year we tortured our youngest brother by sending him on a treasure hunt to find his one present.  We needed the distraction from the disappointing morning; anything to prolong the time until orders were shouted by Ma to prepare for the family party later that afternoon.  So poor little brother spent two hours following really bad clues leading to a present he didn’t want anyway.

Again I digress.  For some reason Ma had a need to torture me, or maybe just to have a bit of revenge for a year’s worth of aggravation I had probably doled out to her.

So I opened my first footed onesie pj’s in my tweens.  They usually had stupid prints of ducks or bunnies or some saying on the front, like, “My mother went to Kmart and all I got were these stupid pajamas."

I would be cajoled into trying them on so the whole family could mock laugh at me.  She got the biggest kick of all.  She enjoyed it so much that it became an annual event.  And each year I thought she couldn’t possibly pull this crap again, and each year I was wrong.  I thought that if I was going to endure this insanity year after year, maybe I should create my own appliqués like, maybe, an ax murderer print saying, “Ma, just in case you didn’t know it– I hate you”.  Or, taking cues from Chevy Chase and Jane Curtain on Saturday Night Live, “Ma, you ignorant slut!”

It didn’t stop, though.  The  Christmas before I got married and escaped from holiday hell, my fiancé sat beside me as I once again opened my gift.  This time, as my mother laughed hysterically, I let loose a tirade of holiday obscenities which had no affect on her as she begged me once again to slip it on so she could see and get her yearly belly laugh.

I left them for her to wear, which she did (why waste perfectly decent pajamas and the money it took to buy), and I never again stepped into that Christmas tradition.  So, if anyone has an idea of surprising me this Christmas with those new footsie jammies that they are advertising on TV, please, a paper shredder or garden scythe would bring a bigger smile to my face.  I cannot be held responsible for my response.  No, really, I am serious—really.  No onesies.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Prayer 2014

I sat down today, for the first time, in this new place that is now home, and meditated.  Because monkey brain has taken over my head and created unrest, I used a mantram, repeating it over and over, for a whole ten minutes.

My stuff was all here, albeit arranged anew, to honor the new space it resides within.  I’m out of practice.  The prepping – lighting candles, incense, ringing the metallophone three times– took longer than the actual meditation.  But it’s okay.  My mind has accumulated way too many monkeys, who have been dancing and frolicking free of oversight from me over the last year; me otherwise occupied with statistics and citations, not peace and tranquility and sadly, creativity.  I will tame those who are permanent occupants and thin out those who weaseled their way in when I wasn’t looking.

Writing the one true sentence has been all but absent this year.  It has been long and hard.  Who knew?  When your days have long passed and you think you have escaped the toils of life - worn, scabbed, but fairly unscathed permanently - life blesses you with something new to ponder, to examine, to marvel at, see the beauty as well as the boils as they combine together in utter splendor.  Life is like a snowflake.  Looking deeper into the crystals and finding another piece of art within the art, this lies yet within another piece of unimaginable beauty.
Sitting with it, you speculate the reasons for its presence, now, at this point, when you thought you had dodged every bullet.  Oh, there are reasons.  Nothing is happenstance.  It was fated long ago, or, somewhere along the path you picked up a pebble in your tread and carried it out into your domain, back to your garden, where it mingled with work, play, and dreams, changing the structure of the firma that holds you upright, creating the slightest disturbance, setting off a string of reactions that forever changed what you knew to be absolute and true.
And you cried, “why me,” yet knew this is what must be to open your eyes to the alternate place you must now operate from this moment forward.  “If I only did,” is relegated to the compost heap, regurgitating and cooking into, “this is the only next step there is.”

And it provides the calm so needed as the ground rumbles beneath your feet.  Feet that ache and are unbending every morning.  “We’re tired,” they creak as you hobble to the bathroom; knowing they will walk miles today, steady you as you maneuver trays and trees, books and bad attitudes.  “Get going,” is the silent command that loosens the tendons and ligaments holding you in this one place you know has meaning yet discovered, that will carry you forward.

At the end of a tumultuous year, you are given a reprieve, God’s way of assuring you that hope still lives and breathes within.  You revel in the joys of life birthed, within and all grown up, the multifaceted gems sitting before you, precious and treasured,
and you
                breathe deeply,

knowing this is so, this is here now, to be blessed and loved as it moves through.