Monthly Archives: December 2015

Christmas Programs Past

It occurs to me that Christmas 2015 is the first time in decades that I have not attended a child’s Christmas program.  I expect this to be the start of a brief dry spell before we start attending our grand-daughter’s programs.

I recall when Benjamin gave a short introduction to his first grade’s adaptation of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer..  I was thrilled and proud of his moment in the spotlight. He was beyond cute in his snowman sweater – back in the days that he was happy to let mom dress him in cheesy and adorable outfits.  Children’s programs are special; the  nervousness and excitement of the youngsters is a tangible and contagious presence.  They are proud to be dressed in their best  holiday outfits, to have their parents see them on THEIR turf, and are all atwitter at the thought of performing in front of an adoring audience.  The parents are all a-twitter too;  excited to enjoy what will be the most enthusiastic and heartfelt performance of the entire holiday season!

I recall the choral concert where my vertically challenged daughter, Kelly, spent most of the concert fighting to simply to stay on the risers, without getting  accidentally knocked off by her larger peers as they cluelessly lurched and swayed to the music.   I think that was Kelly’s last year in choir.

Guzzy is now working as an assistant teacher in the same day care she attended as a young child – so she had a special moment of deja-vu; helping the kids onto the same stage that not-so-long ago she stood upon singing her heart out.   Guzzy LOVED to sing ever since she was born.  Even as a baby, she would vocalize loudly during hymns — sometimes even after the song was over.  Her first ever pre-school Christmas program was a hoot!   During “Momma’s Kissing Santa Claus”  Guzzy and one of her chums got a couple beats ahead of everyone else, and continued to sing loudly and proudly like a runaway train with an engineer chasing it for the rest of the song.  My mom and I laughed so hard, we were in tears.

Tomorrow, we are taking Ben out to celebrate his 33rd birthday, and I will spit out my teeth if he is wearing  a snowman sweater.

Stuff my Dad Says

My dad is a storyteller with a limited audience. My siblings and I have been spending a lot of time with him as he recuperates from his injuries.  With little to do and little to occupy his mind, his lifelong habit of repeating stories is flourishing.  This is not some new trait or indication that his memory his fading–he has always done this; and we do our best to be patient with each retelling. (I certainly hope that my own children will show me the same courtesy some day.)   I have come up with titles for some of dad’s recurring tales.

  • 120 Year Old Man Mows lawn
  • 2015 Has Been a Rough Year
  • The Uncaring Caregiver
  • The Caring Caregiver
  • I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up
  • Mom’s No Good Doctors Who Don’t Give a Damn
  • One Exceptional Child and Three pretty good ones
  • It’s Hell Getting Old
  • The Cute Blond in History Class

There are more–but this is a pretty representative sampling.  I have tried to engage dad in Scrabble or cards in order to pass the time, without much success.  He prefers to reminisce and rehash the same themes.

At 88 dad has outlived his wife, his siblings and their spouses,  and most of his friends. We are hoping that he finds a fresh audience in his new temporary home at a local assisted living facility, where he will spend the next month.   At the very least, I’m sure he will come up with some new stories about living with all the old duffers at the ‘home’.