Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Memory

My sister and I were talking on the phone this past week and she reminded me of a long ago Christmas. My son was little, about 4 years old. Like many little kids he thought he didn’t like vegetables, but he loved canned Creamed Corn. It wasn’t my favorite but it was easy and I served it a lot.

Travel back to Kansas City, 1987. We are in my parent’s family room gathered around the Christmas tree decorated with the fluttering bubble lights and my Mom’s red Cardinal bird lights. Including my son, we had three small children who were very excited about opening their presents. We adults sat around the perimeter watching and adoring our children as they played with empty boxes, colored paper and curly ribbon. My son held up one of his presents, I nodded and he began to open it. I had wrapped it myself and was anxious to see his reaction. I had wrapped some little toy in pretty paper and then placed it inside an empty can of cream corn; then I wrapped the can and curled the ribbon. Maybe I was secretly hoping that a sense of humor could be groomed and nurtured through the years. Anyway, he pulled off the paper and held the can up excitedly. He exclaimed sincerely, “I love it …. it’s just what I always wanted”. And he meant it. He was adorable, his soft blond curly hair and his happy little round face.

We all clapped our hands and shared his joy. I was grinning from ear to ear as I told him to keep looking, there may be more in there. I have no idea what was in that can but I’m sure he loved it as well. A beautiful little cherub.

Now here is my sister telling me that she felt so sorry for him that morning. I was incredulous. “Why?” I squeaked. I remember the day with profound fondness. It was a wondrous morning; our children were young, beautiful and full of promise. Every bulb was lit. Life was sweet and innocent.

“Because he was so excited over a can of vegetables.”

“He was four. And he loved cream corn!” I should have challenged her further, “What else do you remember from that day?” Because I must admit, after all these years all I remember is that silly can of cream corn.

I grin as I place a sweet little cowgirl angel ornament swaddled in tissue paper, inside an empty box of Quaker Instant Oatmeal. It is just the right size container, and now ready to be wrapped.

* annette

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