The older our kids get, the more defined their gift requests and expectations become. Advent is the season of waiting, and wow, sometimes that waiting comes with a hearty side of whining!
Personally, I have ambitions and dreams, and while some of them do come with dollar signs, I’m fortunate to be content with my worldly goods — even if my progeny are pretty sure we need All Of The Things.
Most importantly, our family has many physical and spiritual reasons for rejoicing. The agenda for today (Dec. 11) includes welcoming a new sister-in-law and aunt!
But (and you knew there was a “but”), I do have a wish list. Without further ado:
All I want for Christmas is …
• The ability to calendar. Some people are terrific at internalizing time, date and space, but that is not me. The 11 miles from my house to town haven’t changed in the 15 years I’ve lived here, and yet somehow I’m still convinced I can get there in about six minutes. Also, I anticipate that I will be putting up a Christmas tree on Dec. 24 because Dec. 25 sneaks up on me on little mouse feet.
• One thing at a time. It never fails: If the landline rings, the cell phone also rings, children start jumping on the bed, and the baby needs a pants change. Simultaneously. Or there’s a bath in progress. That’s also an option. Crazy. If you get my voice mail, pick this scenario.
• Impulse Control to take up residence in my house. I am mighty exasperated at its reluctance to make an appearance. In fact, if this executive function could show up and bring along the other eight Fruits of the Spirit, they all would be feted with fireworks and champagne (lemonade for the youngsters and beer for my husband).
• A patience helmet for use while awaiting Impulse Control. Anyone with kids, coworkers, community organizations — well, anyone beyond one’s own self, really — understands how valuable it could be when one’s head figuratively explodes.
• Perpetually clean laundry. You know you’re a parent when you find three socks in the middle of the afternoon and throw them in the washer with the bath towels just so you can say you have an empty hamper for an hour or so.
• While we’re at it, dishes that wash themselves would be nice. I know this is a problem that could be solved by disposable ware, but I’m all about stewardship around here.
• And to wrap up the housekeeping segment of this list, magic poultry that debones itself once cooked. Does anyone, anywhere, truly like to pick the bones of a Thanksgiving bird?
• More glimpses into how friendly, smart and insightful my kids are. I get very wrapped up in the process of herding these butterflies and making sure they don’t starve or go naked or break someone else’s leg or spirit. Seeing them through the words or photos of other people is a gift and an exquisite reminder of the beautiful people they are, each in his or her own right.
• Some kind of resolution to the health care/insurance fiasco. I’m not sure fiasco is the most accurate word, but I suspect the right word wouldn’t be family friendly. I have huge respect for health care providers. These are amazing people doing amazing work in some pretty adverse political conditions.
• A change in the markets that would result in ag commodity price trends predictably rising instead of falling. Also, a couple hundred more acres to farm, for my husband and for each of the little guys out there. For small operators who survive on hard work and thrive on independence and diversification, these two factors could make a huge difference.
• World peace.
• Coffee. Always coffee.
This Soils and Streams column first appeared in the Dec. 9, 2017, issue of the Kearney Hub.