The Christmas that Jack turned 6, Georgie was in Florida and couldn’t come home. She carefully packaged our gifts and mailed them to us early enough for the big morning. Jack was ecstatic, thinking about what Georgie had gotten for him. They had a running phone battle about what the packages could hold. “Were you good, J.D.? Because if Mom says you weren’t good, I’m sending you socks and underwear.” (Ashes and switches to a 6-year-old)
Early on the 25th, we gathered round and divvied out gifts. In our family, we open presents one at a time, show the present to everyone, and thank the giver. When there are more than 3 or 4 people, present opening lasts a few hours with a break but it’s more fun than a quick rip, toss, and run.
The first gift that Jack opened was his present from Georgie. John had the camera ready so we could send Georgie the Christmas pictures. Short of boxes, Georgie had used cereal and cracker boxes to package presents, but Jack didn’t know that. The disappointment in receiving a box of cereal was apparent but he held up the “present” and thanked Georgie. John urged him to open the box, but Jack was adamant, “No, Daddy. I really don’t want any cereal.”
When he finally conceded and opened the package, he found Power Ranger action figures carefully wrapped in tissue paper. That was the gift he wanted; more in fact, since Georgie gave him 3, not just 1.
I have no idea where life will be leading me. I know that over the past 13 years of sobriety,
I’ve gotten gifts in abundance. I would have been willing to settle for just not drinking and had no idea that I could not drink and be happy, too. The terror and rage that ruled much of my life have been deposed.
I am willing to stop at the Raisin Bran package when God offers me Power Rangers every day. All I have to do is be here-really here-and keep opening the wrapping.