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The Best Gifts of Christmas: Embracing Imperfect and Boys At Play

December 26, 2012


The Silicon Valley of California was once known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight. Romantic, eh? A veritable garden of produce, orchards and vineyards.

But only 15 inches of average rainfall a year.

Louisiana, Florida, Texas…they see that much rain in a week.

The sun shines almost all the time, and we are somewhat dumbfounded to be trapped indoors by weather.

It has been raining all week – well beyond cats and dogs, it’s been ponies of rainfall. Torrential and cold, too cold to splash in.

We’ve been stuck inside for a few days now. Long days. Vacation days. Unbroken by schedule or school.

Little boys tend to get stir-crazy indoors.  Rambunctious energy spilling out of bedrooms into the hallway. Fights break out. Everything becomes a weapon (yes, even toilet brushes…side postscript below)

But this year something new emerged. Camaraderie, companionship…the two brothers born four years apart finally on a more even playing field; the younger old enough to learn the rules of Monopoly and Slap Jack.

We sat in wonder as they actually…played…together.

LEGOs and Avengers, they dreamed a roller coaster out of a chair, two walking sticks and some blankets.

Even as I write they are playing Monopoly on the floor. Monopoly! 

There have been fights, of course, being that they are normal, red-blooded, testosterone-infused little men.

Our response? You fight, you clean. They scrubbed the kitchen cabinets and mopped the kitchen floor. They even vacuumed until I caught one of them suctioning water out of the bathtub…while his brother was in it. 

It’s been a great holiday despite my atrocious,sneezing, snuffling cold. We shared a delightful evening with friends and family around our extra, extra, extra long dining room table. Everything perfect – lights twinkling, candles glowing, food hot, wine poured, desserts done to a turn…

Until, late in the evening, I glanced into the corner of the dining room to see something I had forgotten hours before.

A toilet brush.

In my dining room.

On Christmas.

I had been making a final pass through the house and baths before guests arrived, and being in possession of only one toilet brush, I carried it with me from one end of the house to the other. But I stopped in the dining room to check on other things and completely forgot about the offending article.

I don’t think anyone saw it. (I hope.)

It was a lesson in life, that lowly article of foul necessity. No matter how hard I try for perfect…I’ll never achieve it.

Might as well embrace imperfect and have a good laugh.

P.S. As my Facebook followers inquired…why don’t I keep a toilet brush in each bath? Simple. Two boys: Everything’s a weapon. The last toilet brush sword fight ended the convenience, and I keep one, safely in the master bath, to be used under my personal supervision only.

And Christmas dinner, of course.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 27, 2012 7:57 am

    We’ve had some of those experiences of the boys playing together here, too, this Christmas. It’s made it a very, very Merry one. 🙂

  2. Christi McGuire permalink
    January 2, 2013 6:24 am

    Love this! While reading I laughed out loud, so my girls asked what was so funny. So I read your post to them. Now they are afraid I’m going to make them clean when they fight. Great idea…I think I will!

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