“You mean we have to do this AGAIN?!?” The 10 year old looks in disbelief at the fairway before her. We’ve just finished hole one (she maxed out at 11 hits and I made it in a mere 9) and I’m thinking that golf won’t be our sport of choice. Not even on our new Wii, which is one step below the physical demands of real golf, although with Wii you always have to be your own caddy. Of course, you can sit the whole time, but I don’t think it really offers an unfair advantage. After all, one of us would have to be any good at the pseudo-sport, and since we both stink, no one’s calling ‘foul’.
I have sold my soul this year for Christmas. Back when I was a perfect parent (pre-kids) I swore that I would never allow such a soul-sucking, time-wasting, society-destroying toy like a gaming system in my house. I also swore I wouldn’t allow rodents, and we see how that’s gone. This year, not only did I keep the Wii sent by the grandparents, but I’m actually allowing Santa to give my oldest 2 children DSlites—pink and blue so we can tell them apart. My step-mum joked that everything we’re giving this year includes batteries, and she's about right. I don’t think we need batteries for the pajamas or the oranges that sit in the bottoms of the stockings, but I haven’t actually checked.
Years ago, when I still had ideals and beliefs, I pictured my little family nestled close on Christmas morning. We’d gently unwrap (without ripping the paper) our homemade gifts and gaze lovingly into each others’ eyes as we expressed our joy at being together. In the afternoon, we’d volunteer at the local homeless shelter or food pantry, giving back to the community some of the blessings we had during the year. So much for my Hallmark fantasy. Our lives are more like a Disney sitcom than I want, only our hair isn’t nearly so beautiful.
The 4 year old has a wish this year. She wants to open presents while we sip cocoa by the fire. Maybe it’s genetic. And maybe that’s one unplugged vision I can fulfill.