Curtis told me that one of his favorite childhood memories was when his mom would take him and his sister to pick out a Christmas present for their dad. They would go in the tools section and pick out whatever struck their fancy. Steve probably already had or didn't need whatever they picked out, but Curt said his dad absolutely loved it and treasured his gifts. Mom used to take Melissa and I to Academy to shop for our dad, where I would pick out fishing lures from the worm bar. (You haven't lived until you've squished oily rubber worms in your hands in the worm bar.) They came in all sorts of crazy color schemes and I'm sure I picked out the wildest looking ones. I don't think Dad ever used those lures, but hopefully his daughter's interest in what he loved meant something to him.
When Curt mentioned that memory to me, I knew I needed to do the same with Jackson. I hate that I didn't think of it first, but I'm blaming the fact that we went out of town for a week right before Christmas. We won't ever do that again.
I ended up getting to spend a really great afternoon alone with Jackson. First we drove to the library to return our library books. One was a Dick and Jane reader that I will remember forever as the first book he ever read to me. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I remember reading the same book with my mom and I hope Jackson will remember it, too.
I asked him where he wanted to go to shop for his daddy and he said Walmart. Oh sweet Lord, give me strength. I accepted my lot and we drove to the behemoth of holiday crowds and grinches. My consolation was the fact that now we would only need to go to one store instead of the three I had planned on.
Jackson climbed into the basket, which embarrassed me a little but then it was so practical I decided not to care. We gathered all the groceries we needed for our Christmas Eve dinner with our dear friends. I also decided at the last minute that I would make my traditional butterscotch haystacks, even though I'd sworn I wouldn't do that to my body. Since I was making those naughty little treats, why not add cake balls, oreo balls, and chex mix into the...mix? Jackson was surrounded by food on every side but he insisted on staying in the basket.
At last it was time to pick out Daddy's present! He knew exactly what he wanted to get from the moment I told him what we were doing. We managed to find something - even down to the color he specified - that would be perfect. Then he picked out a present for his sister and that was very sweet. He chose was the same doll I had taken to our precious Stephanie in Guatemala, only with light skin and blond hair. It was a little more than I wanted to spend today but I didn't want to crush his generosity.
Normally, checking out at Walmart is a huge pain, but today we were behind a woman who was buying a ton of blankets, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. I asked her if she was taking it to a shelter and she said yes. Well look at that. Walmart was filled with angels, not grinches. Shame on me for my attitude. Jackson asked what she was doing and we had a great teachable moment.
I realize none of this story is very interesting, but it was so wonderful to spend that time alone with my son. Maybe this will add some flavor to my boring story.
We lacked one thing and had to go to HEB to get it. There were only like 5 spots open in the parking lot and I was saying under my breath, "Stupid, stupid HEB." Jackson broke out in a loud cackle, "Mommy, you said stupid! Ha ha! I heard you saying stupid!" Oh by the way, this morning he told me he tooted and I said, "Bud, I don't need to know that." Then he said, "Mommy, I want you to know about everything that comes out of my body." Wow.
While Jackson and I were at HEB dealing with more crowds and grinchiness than ever, Curtis was having a father-daughter date with Annabeth at La Madeleine. How precious is that? Now, Annabeth is too young to request a restaurant, so if any of you are friends with my husband and want to give him a hard time about his love for French food, feel free.
Tonight we went to my parents' house and had supper. Mom made an amazing beef stew with cornbread. Colin had just gotten a new guitar and he played for us. He's so good! He won Annabeth over with that. On the way home we stopped by a house in our neighborhood that does a light show choreographed to music. The kids loved it.
Right now Santa is in the garage putting together a little pink kitchen and a "race track that crashes cars." It was the one thing Jackson said he wanted over and over again. I'm hoping Annabeth likes her kitchen more than I like mine. Maybe if I painted it pink...