A child is born…

It’s December 17 and the calendar continues on its unstoppable march to Christmas, 2010. I don’t know about you but I have done more Christmas shopping with my wife over the past few weeks than I have ever done in my previous 53 years on this planet. I thought us old guys would be able to enjoy the dawn of our Sunset Years, spend a lot of time with our grand kids and take it easy during the Christmas season. That’s before I went and married up with a younger woman and became the father to a new batch of kids who are younger than my grand children. I’m not complaining, mind you, I am speaking of the way the Good Lord does things His way and in such mysterious ways. Although my body says “ouch” quite often while shopping these days, my heart and mind say “thanks” and there seems to be a smile frozen on my face in anticipation of seeing the reactions of my two little girls, Issy, 8 and Bailey, 3 come Christmas Day and inevitable mangling of the wrapping paper on their Christmas goodies. I haven’t been an eyewitness to kids rippin’ into Christmas presents in almost thirty years when my sons were children. Trey is now 31 and Toby is 28. See? It’s been a while.

A couple of other things that I have noticed over the last several weeks are how Bailey goes ballistic when she sees some toy or another that she can’t live without in a TV commercial and the inevitable afternoon inventory of presents under the tree about 3:15 each day after school when Issy gets off the bus. She looks over the presents under the tree like a pitbull looks at a T-bone. The intense scrutiny of her observant blue eyes never misses even the smallest change in number or appearance of those gifts. And like that pitbull slobberin’ over a medium rare steak, Issy is poised to lay waste to any and all wrapping paper and/or boxes within reach. Ah, the exuberance of youth.

Bailey on the other hand, is constantly reminding us of which toys she deems fit to be hers as the toy commercials play on TV. We are lucky to have cable TV which features about 7 or 8 hundred kids’ channels, each one with a different set of toy commercials to taunt and tantalize children to the point of near-hysteria. ‘Daddy, look!” or “Daddy, I want that!” are the most used phrases in the English language this month at our house. As I type this, what happens right on cue? A toy commercial comes on during Spongebob and Bailey shouts “Mama, I want that!” The kid has impeccable timing. If I were rich instead of handsome (that’s what my Dad used to say), I’d own half of Toys R Us and damn near all of Walmart’s toy inventory. Alas, I am handsome.  🙂

Being the father of two young children at 54 years old holds challenges aplenty, to be sure, but those challenges are far outweighed by the rewards that only children can give – neverending smiles, laughter on the spur of the moment when we least expect it, unconditional love and ulcers. OK, I made that last part up. I have been blessed by God with the two little girls that He had planned for me long ago, when the only plan I had was to go fishin’ or take a trip to the casino. Yup, the Good Lord knows exactly when to clobber us with a clue by 4 when the timing is juuussstt right. Like Crocodile Dundee said, “Me and God. We be mates”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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