Why The Little Drummer Boy Still Rocks

Sweetman came home, the other day, with a boxed set of “Christmas Classics” DVDs. We only wanted Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeeryou see; but, we missed the buying boat for just that one. Everyone else had already been there and bought that.

Because Sweetman is brilliant (and really, because he knew coming home without the movie in-hand would cause a mutiny), he bought the boxed set. All for the low-but-actually-not-so-low price of 2 Many Dollars. It includes Rudolph, of course, and Frosty the Snowman, and The Little Drummer Boy, and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, and a couple of other “original” classic Christmas movies.

Except, I don’t remember some of these movies as being classics.

In fact, two of the movies included are Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol and Cricket on the Hearth. I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure I would have remembered a “classic” about a young woman going blind from shock, and a crow sent out to murder a sweet little talking cricket, and Brandon Thomas’ toothy grin as he narrates it all. Oh, I especially would have remembered that. That’s the stuff of nightmares, folks. Oh, yes it is! No matter how delightfully Mr. Thomas croons about the birth of The Savior.

Anyhoo, one of the movies that I had plumb forgotten about, was The Little Drummer Boy. We snuggled in and began watching. Five minutes into it, though, I considered the choice a mistake.

WHY did they kill his parents, Mama?” Followed by, “But WHY does the little boy not have people who love him?”

And then, the tears!

I’ll be honest, I wanted to have a stern word with the folks who thought this kind of story line was a good one for children. Until, of course, I realized I’d likely be yelling at a bunch of dear elderly persons in a nursing home.

Sweetboy interrupted my imaginings by innocently asking why the little drummer boy wanted to be alone with the animals and why he hated people?

And, I realized with a start that I had one of those rare golden parenting opportunities. We, parents, only get this kind of opportunity every-so-often. I wasn’t about to let this one go by with a shoulder-shrug.

We pressed pause.

As two expectant pairs of eyes stared at me, I realized how many directions I could go with this conversation. Anger is an emotion all humans experience. Death is an experience all humans will eventually meet with. And, hatred is something none of us ever wish to encounter, but far too often do.

Where to start? How far to go? What words are appropriate for a six and eleven-year-old?

The words I chose were the ones that were the simplest. And the most truthful. I asked them if anyone had ever hurt their feelings. When each said yes, I asked them how it made them feel. One said sad, the other said angry.

Ah, yes. Emotions that we all feel.

We talked through some of the ways people respond to others when they are angry. Or hurt. Or sad. Because, really, sometimes they’re all bumping up against each other. Right?

I asked them why they thought Jesus came to earth as a baby. That was a tricky one for Sweetgirl. But Sweetboy? He nailed it. “So we could be in God’s family.”

Oh, child… YES!

Little_Drummer_Boy_Missindeedy

The Truth. It’s the best place to start and the best place to end.

Always.

They both got antsy, after that, and asked me to press play. We watched on as, in the end, that little drummer boy was able to give away his most prized possession out of love. Love that was placed in his heart, and is placed in ours, for the purpose of overcoming the anger and the hurt and the sadness.

Thank you Jesus!

What grace!

It turns out, The Little Drummer Boy still rocks! He may be stilted in his movements, but the heart behind his story beats strong among us all.

Oh, how it does!

Yes indeedy.

Bliss Gets a Bad Rap

Productivity was at an all time high around here, yesterday afternoon.

Why?

Because, Sweetgirl had a playdate directly after school.

You’ve just not heard silence so golden as the silence we experience when our resident chatterbox isn’t chattering.

Blessed.

Silence.

Sweetboy desperately needed to get his haircut before we fly down to see The Nana and Ahab this weekend. His awesomely awesome fauxhawk isn’t going to maintain itself!  We knew sissy was going to be gone a few days beforehand, so we hatched a plan to spring him from school an hour early and get the haircut taken care of.

The poor child’s nose has been running, as if in a marathon, for the last few days. Being the fabulous and fancy mama that I am, I offered to take him to Tarjay for an Icee after the haircut. I figured that would give me the excuse I needed to go back and get the two things I actually went into that dratted store for, the other day. Because, Target!

Driving to and from each errand, with no little sister to interrupt our conversation with her own thoughts on what brother should do/think/feel/say, Sweetboy opened right up.

Like a can of worms.

We discussed the upcoming Geography Bee at school, this week (He’s excited. And nervous. But mostly excited. However, he doesn’t want to “actually make it all the way to nationals in another country, because I’m not ready for that yet!” At which point, we had to have a conversation about all the levels he’d have to master before making it that far. And, of course, how “nationals” doesn’t actually entail leaving your particular nation. Fun stuff, people.)

From there, we moved to halitosis. Riveting, I tell you. I was reminded that, although he loves me dearly, I really do need to brush my teeth in the morning. I kept my comments about his own dragon breath, in the morning, to myself. He then proceeded to expound on the pros and cons of cinnamon versus mint toothpaste. (One, he informed me, tastes better in the morning, and one better at night.) He covered using his fluoride rinse in the morning versus the evening.  (Have your eyes glazed over, yet?)

He ended the stream of chatter with a solid exclamation about how he can. not. wait. to get down to Florida so that he can finally, FINALLY, wear shorts again! “Mama, you did pack only my shorts, right? Which shorts did you pack? Can we buy a new pair of shorts down there? Can I wear shorts to the airport? Do you think Nana will buy me some Florida shorts?” (Still trying to figure out what those are….)

I was dizzy from hearing the word “shorts” so many times in one hot minute of conversation. Thankfully, we arrived at home.

He almost skipped into the house, he was so content.

And, happy.

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I can’t express to you how much joy fills my heart when this child feels content. And happy. This eleven-year-old, who fights his dark thoughts so valiantly. This child, who worries about whether his hands need to be washed again, moments after washing them vigorously, every. single. time. This guy, with an intense need and desire to hop his troubles away…

When he feels happiness?

Well, the word bliss gets a bad rap, because in this instance, it aptly describes my state. And, clearly, from the joy emanating from his own face, his, too.

It would seem that a mental health afternoon was exactly what this kiddo needed.

And, you know what?

His mama did too.

Yes indeedy.

Just a Few (or 15 ) Things

I’ve been chasing my tail, this merry month of December. Anyone else?

But, I wanted to pop in and tell you a few things before you flat-out decide I am done for.

1. I’m not done for.

2. I don’t even really understand that phrase.

3. Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha = a small sip of heaven.

4.  It also equals a small increase in the midsection.

5.  I was just too lazy to combine numbers 1 & 2 and 3 & 4.

6. My favorite Christmas song is “Silent Night, Holy Night”.

7. To that end, I have been playing The Oh Hellos’ Family Christmas Album on repeat. Number 3 is about worn out. And, number 4. And number 2. And…

8. As we speak, I am only 50% finished with my Christmas shopping. This causes some stress.

9. Stress and I don’t get along.

10. My favorite (and the first) things to put out, when decorating for the season, are our stockings. Each one was lovingly cross-stitched by The Nana. She is an artist! Each has our name across the top.

Stockings

11. Our Christmas tree is up and decorated. This being a year when we are down in Florida with Ahab and The Nana, for Christmas, I call that a win!

12. THESE! –> SnackFactory_PretzelChips_Choc

13.  THIS! –>   Mitchells_Fresh_SalsaDip

14. Do you do the whole #EOTS (Elf on the Shelf) thing? Don’t. Start. I’ve begun to rue the day… Anyhoo, we let the kids play with Jack, our elf, the first day he comes out. They get All The Touching out of their system and then we begin sweatin’ it out looking for new ways to hide and position the little elf dude. Looks like Sweetgirl’s gonna do just fine when it comes time to play this game with her own kidlets. She clearly has far better ideas than we do. (Although, I’m not sure Jack approves.)

Elf_Hangin_Missindeedy

15. Sweetman’s family introduced me to the tradition of watching “White Christmas” each year, to kick off the holiday season. I. Love. That. Movie! Our sweet little family, however, likes far less cultured movies: Elf and Arthur Christmas. We’ve watched these 5 times, already.

It’s only December 10th.

Lord, help me.

And, on that prayer, that’s a wrap!

See what I did there?

Now, if only I could do that with All The Presents.

It is a season for miracles…

Yes indeedy!

Thanksgiving Is Most Certainly NOT for the Birds

You know who has nothing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day?

The turkey.

It’s kinda a rough day for that dude.

Unless we’re talking about a martyr turkey.

And somehow, I highly doubt that once a turkey gets wind of what gets cut off and where it all gets stuffed and cooked… Well, I don’t much think we’re going to see many turkey’s yelling “Pick me!” for that experience.

All turkey business aside, I know full well how very much I have to be thankful for. And, although I’ve been practicing thankfulness with more regularity since first reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp a couple of years ago, it does me good to purposely set aside time each year for an extra helping of thankfulness.

So, in the spirit of reflection and thanksgiving, this morning I am so very thankful for:

  • You.  Yes, you. I come here and use words to work through things and you come and share right back. I’m so grateful. Flannery O’Connor said that “I write to discover what I know.”  You help me discover that. Thank you.
  • Sweetman and my sweetkids. They drive me batty. But for every new bat-like symptom I acquire, for every new twitch they inspire, I am grateful that they are mine. And I am theirs. I wouldn’t trade anything (You know what I would trade? A cast. I would trade that, actually.)
  • Italians. Si`. My “fache` booka`” loving sister-in-law, who thinks nothing of stopping an 11:00 pm card game of Rumino to call her sister (or one of 4 brothers) in another state to make sure no one is cheating, and my mother-in-law, who will cook up a storm and bake love into every single delicious bite.
  • Freedom. I’m not talking about the freedom that living in The United States provides, although I have no doubt that I don’t even understand how blessed being an American really is. I’m talking about the freedom to write what I want. Post when I want. Think how I want. It’s a gift, tenfold. I am thankful.

I’m going to end my thoughts right there. An Italian is calling from the kitchen telling me that breakfast is served. “Andiamo!”

“I’m coming!!!”

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Let’s Recap, Shall We

Last week, we were all about this:

Hot_Pink_Cast_MissindeedyBecause, Lord knows there’s not enough drama around here. And, I can now add reason number 237 to my list of “Reasons Why I Detest Trampolines”. All I can say is, thank goodness for Hot Pink Castery. (I’m becoming my own veritable dictionary, aren’t I?)

Thankfully, the weekend was more celebratory!

First, this happened:

masquerade_missindeedyWe attended a fundraiser for our kids’ elementary school. It was nice to get all gussied up, talk to other parents (sans children), and hit the dance floor! (I don’t want to brag, but I do a mean Y.M.C.A.) And, although I had to practice wearing heels (again) for a few minutes a day for the week leading up to it, the night was a huge success.

Then, Saturday, it was all this:

Bama_Movin_MissindeedyThis move up in the AP Rankings made me all sorts of happy, because

SEC_Funny

We ended the weekend on this note:

B_day_MissindeedyAnd, I don’t feel even a little bit older. I will say, we counted up the number of teacups and saucers that my grandparents have faithfully sent The Birthday Flowers in over The Years, and… there are a few decades worth. That can age a person real fast.

In the ebb and flow of life, though, I’m feeling like the tide is pretty high. (You see what I did there? No? It’s a Bama thing.)

Yes indeedy.

Phoning It In

First, let’s dispense with the necessaries:

Happy Halloween!

I Made It!

Last Day of the Write 31 Days challenge!

Happy Halloween!

(I already said that, didn’t I?)

You know that moment where you’re driving along a highway and you are so zoned out that you miss your exit? Or turn? Or, state line?

I kind of feel that way about what just happened here, over these last 31 days. I assumed that there would be a few bumps in the road, as I sought inspiration each day. While I did, indeed, plan a few of the posts out ahead of time, most of them were written only a day in advance, if not the actual day of. Missing at least one day of writing, if not many, was what I believed would happen.

But, Grace pushed me through. It gave me the extra hour that I needed, encouragement in the form of your comments, and even a gentle nudge to check why my post still hadn’t “published” by 9:30 at night! (TIP: It helps to specify A.M. as opposed to, you know, P.M.)

Even the passage of time was a grace to me throughout this challenge. I feel like I must have zoned out for a while, because MY LANDS, how did the end of October sneak up on us this way?

You see, on the very first day, I mentioned that Commitment and I don’t get along too well.

Apparently, we are now friendly. Oh, yes we are!

Thank you Write 31 Days challenge, for that.

So, today, I’m phoning it in! With this picture of my Halloween Costume from 1981. If you can figure out what I was, comment. You’ll be entered to win a copy of The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful by Myquillin Smith (The Nester). I think it’s fitting, since she hosted us during this challenge. Yes?

Missindeedy_Halloween_Throwback

P.S. HINT: I wasn’t actually all that hot, was I?

P.P.S. I’ll close comments on Monday, November 3rd at midnight EST.

(What comes after P.P.S.?  This is day 31, OH YES IT IS, of the Write 31 Days challenge. Click my button below to be transported to a list of each of my 31 Days of Grace posts.)

 31days_of_grace_button_missindeedy

Grace Galore

Sometimes, I think thoughts too big for my head.

And eat too much for my hips to bear.

Or buy more than my wallet has bills for.

But in it all, His grace is sufficient for me.

And when I hear someone else talk about what they are going through and it’s obvious that my problems are small, comparatively, I am instantly reminded of just how grateful I need to be.  My heart remembers what all I’ve been given.

Life, abundantly (hips and all).

Love, never-ending.

And grace galore.

Always grace galore.

May you find that grace for yourself in this new year, my friends.  Yes indeedy!

New_Year_2014_Missindeedy