The more I think about it, the more I believe that I was a very spoiled child growing up. Every Christmas, my mother would bust her hump to provide me and my siblings a wonderful time of baking, gifts, a warmly decorated home, family and food. Now that I’m a mother, surviving off one income, I often wonder how she did it year after year, on a single mother’s salary.
I have distinct memories of wondering if this was going to be a “good Christmas”–will I get that Barbie motor home I keep begging for? What about that pink Huffy bike with the moped seat? As a small child, my requests were innocent enough but once I hit teen status, I was demanding bigger and much more expensive things. Eventually, it would turn into….I hope they buy me a new Walkman…a CD player…what about those 12-hole green Doc Martens I’ve been dying for?
To further illustrate my utter rottenness, I lived your typical divorced household life. Meaning, I would spend Christmas Eve with my mom, open up the presents from her side of the family. Then on Christmas day, my Dad would pick us up and we’d drive out to East L.A. where his side of the family were eagerly awaiting us. We were the only grandchildren on that side until I turned 18! You know what that means, right? The entire living room would be filled with presents for me and my siblings. No cousins to share with. Good times.
It was every child’s greedy dream.
So it was that vivid childhood memory that kept me up until 3 am this morning. I tossed and turned, trying to stop my brain from scrambling around but it just wouldn’t stop. Christmas is going to be really tough this year. Really tough. Thankfully, the chil’rens aren’t half as spoiled as I was. They are thankful with the smallest of things.
Which makes me want to bless them with good things even more, because I know they are good kids, loving and kind and helpful. They don’t sit here and pout and demand stuff. Thank God for family and church friends, is what I kept thinking.
I got up out of bed and opened up the window, breathing in the cold, wet night air. Somewhere out there was a mother wide awake just like me. Only she wasn’t worrying about unpaid bills and no money for Christmas gifts. She was thinking about how she was going to feed her children, how she was going to keep them warm at night, how she was going to protect them from harm.
Knowing that my children were warm in their beds, in a happy home with both their mother and father gave me comfort. Perspective. I prayed to God and then snuggled up to my husband and finally…found some sleep.
Image source: Flickr/ danielygo