Monday, November 28, 2005

His name is de new boyfriend

A few nights ago a few of us were crowded around the monitor of my computer. Our family pictures are set up as a slide show slash screen saver. So we were watching the family slip by in groups and in sets of twos and threes as well as members all alone. I was pointing to people and asking Emma who is this and who is this. Sometimes Nathaniel would chime in all helpful when she hesitated, or when I teased and called the sister or brother by the wrong name.

Then some of the zoo pictures started to wind across the screen and we came to a group picture of almost everyone. I pointed to Jenny's boyfriend, John, who happened to be holding the baby as she slept. (He is very good at keeping sleeping babies sleeping!) I said; "So who is this holding Elsa? Emma was distracted so Nathaniel had the whole stage to himself and stuttered;
"Oh, oh, I know, I know. It's, it, ... uhhh,... his name is de..., his name is de new boyfwiend!" Read more!

Our Wreath - finally!

As promised, I am posting a picture of our Advent wreath. I had worried the past month that although I had my candles well in advance, I would put off searching for the old wreath or purchasing a new one until the last moment.

I did.

So Sunday afternoon I spent a half hearted five minutes searching under the stairs for the old wreath, but decided I wanted a much smaller wreath than the one we had used over the past years. So some of the girls and I hit the stores looking for flowers that would be exactly like the ones I had decorated the previous wreath with. James, our ragdoll had eaten, picked off, chewed and ultimatly destroyed all of those original flowers until we had a simple bare wreath with four candle holders. It took him approximatly three Advents to accomplish this.

However, the flowers we used 7 years ago are apparently no longer being produced. Old stock long gone by the wayside. I took a deep breath and regrouped.
"Stand here girls for a minute."
I gritted my teeth while I dove into these rows and rows of flowers, and tried to figure out what would come closest to what I had wanted! So many flowers and none looked the way I had imagined. Slowly, with input from Anna and Gabriela, I began to make choices and build a new wreath in my imagination, but it was proving difficult to match the image of pruple that I had in my mind. Finally we gave up and decided to try another crafts store. We paid for a few flowers, the wreath and other craft supplies I wanted for some of our Advent crafts that we will be doing over the next few weeks and left.

We got to the next store and Elsa simply demanded to be nursed before we could scurry again through the rain and into Michaels. Once there we were again assailed by rows and rows and rows of silk, dry and plastic flowers, but none quite the shade of purple I was seeking. Lots of purples, reds, browns, golds, yellows and even white, but that exact shade of purple was proving to be quite elusive. At last content with my choices, I grabbed a cheap glue gun and stuffed it into the cart and asked a lady behind the floral counter where she kept her candle holders that she had used on her advent wreath - the one behind her on display.
"Oh - I'm sorry - I didn't make that, it came like that from our supplier, we just put it up as a display. "
I stared at her dumbly.
"Oh, well, ummm okay, but you do have candle holders, eh?"
The florist behind her chimmed in helpfully.
"Those would be over there." (Gesticulates in a general direction over her shoulder) "But we are sold out of those, I know because I was looking for them for another customer earlier today. You could try A.C.Moore...."

I blinked at her. This couldn't be happening. I had just been to that store and had not found holders.
"Well," I asked hesitantly, "is there another Micheals nearby..."
Glad to be helpful, they listed three or four different craft or fabric stores, not one closer than a thirty minute drive... The first lady added brightly - "Oh you could try the dollar store in Wakeforest." I brightened at that, I liked the proposed cost, as well as its near vicinity.
"But they are closed on Sundays."
Try as I might I could not help but feel bitter about that, and the irony of it hit me hard!
"Well, thanks anyway." I replied not really making much effort to hide my dissapointment. Refusing to give up all hope I slipped over in the general direction they had pointed, hoping against hope that the second lady was wrong. She wasn't.
I gathered the girls and patiently answered Bethany's questions about this and that and we got through the line. I made a conscious effort to be polite to every one around me. What I really wanted to do was pout, smack my purchases on the counter and snarl at everyone. After all - my wreath was ruined - I did not want to place candles around it in regular candle holders, I wanted them IN my wreath, where they were suppose to be. My annoyance with myself for waiting so long to buy the needed items sat hot in my chest. The temptation to inflict it on others was large.

I am grateful that I did not (entirely) give in to it, especially in front of my four daughters. We piled the bags into our cart and headed back into the rain and loaded our purchases and ourselves into the van. I backed up and then wove my way through the crowded parking lot, stoppng for other drivers and waving them ahead of me. As I continued to force myself to show a charity to others that I was not feeling, my mood began to lift. I chuckled inwardly at myself. So what if I we had to light our candles tomorrow, or use regular candle holders. Was it worth spoiling the day over that? (How often has my husband asked me that very question over our 25 yrs of marriage? What can I say - I'm a slow learner!) Then another thought struck me - something I am often saying to the kids.

Well you just got lucky. You have something to offer up!

At this point I laughed out loud, causing Anna to ask me what was so funny. She knew how dissappointed I was. I am not that good an actress. I shared with all the girls what it was that I was thinking. As I drove home, I thought quite a bit about how hard it is sometimes to do as I say and not just say what to do.

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