Last minute details fill my brain as I move about on this Friday before Christmas. It is also the Solstice, so I want to take the day to reflect and be grateful for the year and the blessings the universe has bestowed upon me. Quiet observation and reflection are needed, along with some finishing touches to some gifts I have been crafting. I also have the last wave of brown boxes scheduled to land on my doorstep, which is good timing, because most are for a certain 43-year-old who still believes in Santa.
Today, The Male Sibling Unit is off to his former place of employment to take part in their annual Christmas fete. Then, he will spend one last evening at his community center before the holiday. He was very concerned about the bus schedule because the party began at 11:30 am and he wouldn’t be actually getting on the bus until that time for his approximately ten-minute ride to the workshop.
“What will they do?” he asked me worriedly yesterday. We had been out, doing some shopping, and were lugging many heavy bags the short distance up the hill to the house. By short, I mean 2 small blocks, and I was slightly winded and overwhelmingly affected by the chaos in the stores and The Male Sibling Unit’s “butt talk”, as The Husband and I lovingly (exasperatedly) refer to anything that comes out of a person’s mouth that we deem a crock of shit. I stopped, set my bags on the ground, and eyed him.
“What will who do?” I asked, genuinely mystified.
“My friends!” he replied in an annoyed tone, as if I should have presumed this. “The workers! The bosses!” At this, I did “get it”, which both irritated and amused me, as most acts of narcissism on the part of The Male Sibling Unit do. Nevertheless, I persisted in acting clueless. It’s more fun.
“What do you mean, exactly?” I asked, waiting for it.
“The party starts at 11:30! I won’t be there yet. What will they do without me?”
“Do you think they should wait for you? It’s only ten minutes. What, are you the Grand Puba of Christmas?”
The Male Sibling Unit giggled and actually looked a bit sheepish. “No,” he answered, his voice rising as if it was actually a question. Satisfied that I had imparted a bit of selflessness into him and that this was a lesson that had penetrated his eternally me-centric psyche, I picked up my bags and we resumed the trek up the hill. I was just feeling the burn again, about three-quarters of the way up, when he shattered any self-satisfied assumptions I may have harbored.
In a quiet voice, more to himself than to anyone in general, he said, “I still don’t know what they’re gonna do ’til I get there.” I may have choke-exclaimed something unintelligible similar to one of The Old Man’s expletives in the classic The Christmas Story. Then, I huffed the rest of the way home, The Male Sibling Unit following me silently, until we were nearly home and he laughed at my death-rattle as we crossed the threshold of the porch. “Tired?” he asked mildly, a smile on his face.
I will say only this: The Old Man has nothing on my ability to craft new swear words.