Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Gifts

My son, Garret, worked all afternoon and into the late evening, arriving home at 10:30 PM on Christmas Eve.

Due to my family's propensity for behavior enabling a full series of the "Jerry Springer Show", I was alone with Bentley and Hope.

Knowing my life has been full of alcohols (the non-drinking kind), ketones, aldehydes, evolution, cell respiration, photosynthesis, Krebs, esters, and ethers, not to mention... well, you get the idea.  I did not even have a tree put up.  Given I had the full day to get things done, on Christmas Eve no less, I waited in my bedroom, pretending to nap, while Garret left.  I heard the door close softly so as not to wake me.  Waiting another 10 minutes to be sure he was gone, I sprang into action.

Drove to a few stores, picked up a few decorations - ours are buried deep within the garage we have yet unpacked from our May move out of the cave - and found a store, Home Depot if you want, to find a tree.  At 3:30 on Christmas Eve, I had a tree - not a Charlie Brown kind of tree, just a normal, green tree (not on sale).

Given I had time for a real nap, and then started to cook our dinner - ham, sweet potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, and cauliflower cheese soup - I tossed on the TV and found "It's a Wonderful Life" showing on NBC... a reminder of my favorite Christmas from 1986.  Anyway, I was ready for when he got home.

I motioned to the corner of the living room where the BIG TREE STOOD and he said, "Oh boy, I think you spent way more money on me, than I did on you."  Then a little time passed, "I feel really guilty."

I asked him why he'd feel guilty?  Christmas is not about the amount of the money but the amount of the heart behind it.  He smiled a little bit but said nothing.  He's prone to that.  He keeps a lot to himself.  Until he shows his heart.

"Did you notice the tree???" I asked.

"What tree?" he laughed, turned around and said, "Oh, that big tree in the corner?  Nope, I just saw presents!"

haha :)  Gotta love his honesty!

We ate our dinner.  The ham was awesome, although that was not due to me.  Ham cooking is easy - roast, cover, cook, eat.  The cauliflower cheese soup was a little more work but it is likewise pretty easy to make.

Halfway through dinner, I asked how it was.  He said everything was good except for the soup, "It's a little different this time."

"How so?"

"Just a little off-tasting, but it is still good!"

I sampled MY soup, MY recipe that I've made for years. 

It tasted like dog's ass.  I had to choke it down, he'd eaten 1/2 a bowl. of it.

I laughed - "How are you choking that down?  It tastes like dog's ass!"

"Well, I've never exactly tasted a dog's ass but I was just thinking, slurp, slurp, swallow before I realize it tastes bad."

Moving to the sofas for present opening...

I opened up the first package:

and he opened up his guitar books for the guitar he'd purchased a few months back lamenting that he did not have enough for lessons and he'd have to self-teach himself.

Then I opened up the second package:

Garret mentioned the story is about a doctor who overcame poverty, destruction of his life, and more to become a doctor and one of the most renown brain surgeons.  My eyes watered.

He opened up his gift card for the prepaid guitar lessons that start in two weeks.  He was thrilled.  He smiled a bit more and said he'd finally get to rip like Stevie Ray.

My third and final package opened, revealed this:

My eyes welled just a little, trying to keep my own thoughts pretty well stuffed, "What if I don't make it?"

And the greatest gift of all:

"Mom, if I did not think you were going to make it, I would not have wasted my money on doctor related stories and a movie for you.  You're going to make it.  I have faith in you."

And that, is the real reason for the season, me thinketh.  A son who gave his mom everything... and honestly, he did that almost 20 years ago on December 29th, 1991.

I'm blessed.  And, I'm loved.  If only by him!

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas, or a peaceful Hanukkah, or a ... whatever faith or non-faith you had, I hope you had a cherished weekend!


Solitary Diner (Also Known as The Frugalish Physician) said...

Sounds like a wonderful son. Merry Christmas to the both of you!

A Doc 2 Be said...

I do have a great son!!! Merry Christmas to you as well!

Mi said...

Merry Christmas Adoc2b! You have a very lovely son. With that kind of loving support, how can you not make it to medical school?

Anonymous said...

What a great blog. I'm a med student in the Midwest (almost done...another 6 months!) but what I can tell you is all those "will I make it" thoughts come all the time! It's normal, and I'm sure you'll be just fine. Eventually you'll start looking back and laughing.

Feel free to check out my blog and email if you ever need anything. Sometimes it's nice to chat with someone who has been through the process.

Best wishes and happy holidays!