All I Want For Christmas. . . .A Look into the Future

This morning, on Christmas Eve, I get to close out the ghost visits. . . .finally.  May they take a year long nap and get in better moods.

For me, the opening scene from the movie, Love Actually, is only surpassed by the opening of Pelican Brief.  I plan to watch both today, since I have, surprisingly accomplished most of what I set out to do to prepare for Christmas.  What I actually love about Love Actually is the anticipation of joy at Christmas time presented by those in the movie. . . . .some years, I can even get through the part where Laura Linney’s character consoles her brother without crying. . . but it usually hits a little too close to home.  Thank goodness for fast forwarding options.

That aside, when I want to get in a better mood, I crank of Mariah’s version of  “All I Want For Christmas,” a key element in the movie.   Today is no different.  Through the Christmas deployments, you could be sure to find Mariah singing, as loud as Lola’s speakers could push it out, reminding me that the only thing that I wanted for Christmas was to have my husband home, safe and sound.  Let me tell you, though. . . .it is easier to envision a North Pole castle filled with happy elves, hard at work building toys, than it is to wish for your husband to be home for Christmas during a deployment.

Even when he was home. . . .I let Mariah sing.  The song can make me cry, laugh, smile, sob. . . .it is a full-service song. . .something for everyone.

This morning. . . . .I have been thinking alot about what I want for Christmas.  The Ghost of Christmas Future visited last night. . .like the previous visitors, she (hey—if I have to have ghosts creeping around, you are going to be sure that I am going to pick the preferred gender, thus, all of mine are female. . . .like I need another male telling me what to do or where I have failed), offered insights. . . .I took notes. . . .some of which might be helpful in your new year as well.

Elle received her first “college” acceptance this past week.  🙂  Sure she is only eight, but when you are a Tiger Mom (a term of praise in my book, not criticism), you start early.  The University of Virginia offers enrichment programs in January and February for kids in grades K through 6th.  Delivered on Saturdays, the options ranged from learning how to write and illustrate a book to acting as an classroom archaeologist, combing through the layers of ancient Egypt.  Another class allowed students to study quilting as a form of communication.  Given her love of art and sewing, I was sure that would be her first choice, but she picked the “My Own Book” as her first.  Acceptance required teacher recommendations and applications.  We like that we are getting a head-start on learning to manage program applications.

Elle hopes to be published by the age of 10.  Girls with positive attitudes and who shoot for the stars usually end up doing pretty well.  Let the indoctrination begin.

Jack. . . .Jack. . . .Jack. . . . .

Let me tell you a few things about Jack’s future that you might want to consider when you reevaluate your financial portfolio.

Invest in Pepsico.  You will not lose, as long as Jack Drinkwine lives, by investing in Pepsico stock, specifically Frito-Lay and Pizza Hut.  Sometimes, I like to think about some category manager sitting in Dallas or Wichita, sifting through piles of data trying to figure out why sales of thin and crispy pizza, cheese, no sauce, have skyrocketed in Northern Virginia while falling dramatically in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Same thing with the brand manager of Doritos Nacho Cheese. . . I wonder if he or she appreciates the bonuses my child generates for him/her every year.

Poptarts:  put your bets on Strawberry Frosted.  You will win.

Strawberry Fruit 2.0 flavored water.  Despite having family members in the production and distribution of bottled water who say that flavored water is a fad, I like to think that we, just the four of us, are personally responsible for that brand staying afloat (no pun intended).

Fisher-Price products. . . . think they are limited to pre-schoolers?  In our house, serious play-acting requires Fisher Price little people or whatever they are called.  This past year, those products have allowed us to enjoy performances such as “The Toys that Saved Christmas,” circus acts and, of course, the inner workings of zoos.  Given the flexibility with which the plastic toys have been employed in our home, I look forward to such Shakespearean plays as “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Merchant of Venice” and “King Lear.” 

It is, with some sadness, that I suggest that any stock you bought related to Thomas the Tank Engine has, probably, tanked.  Sorry. . . we have just moved on from the Island of Sodor.

Spouting an entrepreunerial spirit?  Let me give some ideas. . . . .

In an earlier post, I wasn’t kidding about lojacking my kid.  What I had wrong earlier, though, is that Jack is not the  kid I am going to need to have microchipped.  If anything, his umbilical cord has not only been shortened this year, but it appears to have been wrapped in titanium. . . .he isn’t going anywhere.

No, the one I worry about is Elle.  With a strength of personal will that mimics the winds of a Category 5 hurricane, I am anticipating the future is going to be a test of patience, strength and, in some cases, all out war.  My war win column is usually pretty high, but I think she has what it takes to take me down a notch or two.  We are researching convents, along with prep schools and colleges. . . . we’ll keep you posted.

As for B and me. . . . .this year’s New Year’s Eve, we will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary.  And they said it wouldn’t last.

Yep, we got married on 12/31/1999.  The band at our reception played Prince’s famous 1999 song at least three times that night.  As I remember the bar bill the next morning, I can we all lived up to the request to party like it was 1999.  Looking back at the couples who attended that night, the number of those who have divorced in the last 12 years is more than a little significant.  The ones who have found love since that time has been encouraging.  One couple actually got engaged at our wedding. . . . oddly enough, they also gave their kids the same names we gave ours. . . .coincidence??????  

As for Estelle. . . . the frumpy New Orleans school teacher who found herself naked in an Albemarle jail cell on New Year’s morning after having been arrested at my wedding. . .well, we don’t hear from her much anymore, but I am sure that she has moved on.  Maybe she has found a support group of former arrestees (is that a real word?) from that night.. . . in New Orleans, there has to be plenty of those types running around.

On that night, 12 years ago, Brian and I exchanged wedding bands each with an engraved line from Robert Browning.  Mine said “grow old along with me” while his was engraved with “the best is yet to be.”  I still have mine. . . . jumping out of airplanes and running through firefights in various corners of the world means that B is on his third or fourth version (segue. . . .anyone still left in Iraq. . .if you find a platinum wedding band with those words. . . you can send it back to us, we’ll reimburse you for the postage). 

The other day, one of my beloved readers noticed a picture on my refrigerator of me standing in my favorite spot to be photographed. . .L’Accademia Bridge in Venezia. . . wow, she said, were you 20?  I’m sure she was being kind.  However, while I am nearly 30 years older than 20, that picture was only 12 years ago.  War, Army, Autism. . . Army, Autism, War. . . no matter how you want to play with the words. . . they all add up to one thing:  advanced aging beyond what could be expected in 12 years.  Twisting my wedding ring around my finger, now too difficult to remove without hot water and lots of soap, I think about the words that are pushed against my age-spotted hands.  . . .

“Grow old along with me. .  . .”

For B and me, the Ghost of Christmas Future reminded me. . . .”the best is yet to be.”

Merry Christmas. . . .


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sara
    Dec 24, 2011 @ 18:02:56

    as always, beautifully written… and no, I wasn’t being kind, it truly is a beautiful picture of you. Merry Christmas my friend!


  2. Julie
    Jan 01, 2012 @ 00:45:20

    Amazingly poignant and funny. Happy Anniversary, and best wishes for many more happy years together.


  3. Terri Singleton
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 16:27:20

    Leslie, love your blogs! Laura told me I would, and not I’m a big fan. Terri


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: