OK, so my mom collected welfare. But y'know what? We never felt poor. Yes, we lived on top of a drugstore, but it was a cool, bohemian pad. How did we end up on top of a drugstore? D-I-V-O-R-C-E.
Yeah, we had a house. But that was their house. When he left, she couldn't manage it, I suppose. Hey, it was the 70's-divorce was an even bloodier game that it is now--as we all know. It was a darling little white house in a quaint little neighborhood. Whenever I had the opportunity, I prodly told my teachers and friends that I lived in "The White House". It made perfect sense to my pre-school mind.
I don't remember living with him. I don't remember Christmas with him--at least not there.
Later, he would come and we would have Christmas at his parents--or they would have Christmas for us. While it wasn't the Winter Wonderland of my maternal grandparents--it was a holly, jolly Christmas none-the-less. Whereas my mother's side of the family, were laid back river-people, my father's side were an odd mix of working-class and educated, boisterous, generous folks who loved to engage eachother in vigorous discussions of....what? Who knows...I was a kid. I just really dug the energy.
OK, so here we have two sides of a family with intact marriages--providing Christmas for thier divorced, fragmented children. How does that happen?
This morning I drug myself out of bed at 5 am to wrap the gifts and stuff the stockings for my children who had precluded me from getting the secret work done after they went to bad as I crashed before them. They were up watching Elf and revelling in eachother's company. I was happy for them, but wondered--how in the world am I going to pull this off?
How did my grandparents do it? I can't imagine!!!! Oh, to be that child again...
Merry Christmas Eve.