Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lights, My Camera, and A Little Christmas Action

Tonight Buzz was away at his company Christmas dinner. They went to a very fancy steakhouse to eat, and I was feeling a little envious, until he returned home with a three pound slab of cheesecake with fresh strawberries from the dessert menu. That cheered me right up. :)

Meanwhile, I decided to head out with the kids to make a Christmas memory. The expectations associated with that kind of outing have the potential to make or beak the heart of a mother. I knew this going in, and tried to mentally prepare myself for the seven or seven hundred things that could very well be my emotional undoing. Always the optimist, I put all my eggs in one Christmas basket, grabbed my camera, and loaded my brood in the car, setting out on what I was absolutely, positively certain would be our merry way.

And I wasn't disappointed. (Praise Jesus.)

First, we headed to the Whataburger drive-thru because nothing says "promising evening" like a double with cheese and a side of fries. My iron clad and terribly unpopular position regarding car food is that it is never allowed. Never. Ever. I don't allow any food - messy or not - to be eaten in my van. I don't want to have to argue about whether each little item is potentially messy, or drippy, or crumbly, or sticky. So, to avoid an eternity of negotiating and compromising and terrible stains on my floor mats and nasty, crunchy crumbs deep in the seat cushions, I don't allow anyone to chew or swallow in my van. It's just the principle of it, and I hold principles dear to my heart.

Oh, the joy of revealing my OCD tendencies in the name of building background information and setting a scene.

WELL, my kids were in awe when I handed them fast food fresh from the grease pit and invited them to dig right in. I think for a brief moment they were terrified that I was setting them up for some horrible reality that was about to unfold, like being dragged to the mall and forced to wear matching reindeer sweaters while kissing Santa on the cheek and having their picture taken. Although that would have been fun too. Instead, we headed out to look at Christmas lights together while they enjoyed their meals on wheels.

A neighborhood close to ours is known for their elaborate light displays. Signs are scattered on various street corners directing traffic up and down the winding streets. Lines of motorists share the road with bicyclists, dog walkers, and even horse drawn carriages, as scores of onlookers enjoy the lights and decorations. We listened to Christmas music on the radio and marveled over the ingenious and festive displays. Emma giggled at some of the yard art and waved and some Santa Clauses along the way. She seemed to enjoy the ride as much as the rest of us. She was so preoccupied with her little cheeseburger all neatly wrapped up in paper that she even forgot to take off her shoes and socks, which is a foregone conclusion each and every time she gets in her carseat.

Next, we drove down Main Street in a town just north of us. Every single building downtown was outlined in lights, and there were lighted decorations in most of the windows. The whole thing was synchronized to music, so we tuned our radio to the proper station and watched as all the lights danced and flashed in perfect rhythm. We had such a great time singing and looking and enjoying one another. Certainly a treasure of Precious Moments.

The only thing that would have made it any better is if Buzzard could have joined us.

And speaking of groundbreaking memories, we had a "first" in our house this week. The first broken bone! Nearly seventeen years of parenting and we have finally been initiated into the broken bones club.

Hayden was in the church parking lot throwing a football with some friends last Thursday night. On the way home, he complained a little bit about getting his finger jammed. I assured him a good night's sleep would help it a lot. The next day was a big day for us. We went to the American Girl store in the morning, and to a big homeschool craft party in the afternoon. By the time we got home, I still had a list of homeschool work I wanted to accomplish. Hayden prattled on throughout the day about his sore finger, and I assured him that shopping for dolls, doing crafts, and satisfying his homework requirements would ease his pain. Naturally. When it came time for homework I told him to pipe right down. I thought he was trying to get out of handwriting assignments. Saturday morning Buzz took the boys to a park to throw the football around some more. When Hayden kept fumbling his passes, Buzz finally swooped in to take a close look, and I'll be darn if that finger wasn't purple and swollen.


I immediately asked Hayden why he hadn't thought to mention it to me!!!! That poor, poor, POOR third child! Monday morning I took him to the doctor, who sent us for an x-ray. The radiologist announced that he had a fractured pinky, and that the fracture was possibly in a growth plate. Like good parents, we rushed right to the drugstore to get him a finger splint. Because we were finally convinced it was a legitimate injury.

Today we went to see an orthopedic, who confirmed the fracture and sent Hayden to get a cast. At first they just taped two of his fingers together, which seemed like a reasonable approach to me. Then, they began to wrap his entire little hand in cotton and I began to get a bit concerned. Sure enough, he has a cast that would suggest to the casual onlooker that he broke every major bone in his entire upper extremity. Get a load of this....

It's a bold look that says, "I have a small fracture in my pinky finger," in a slightly lavish and excessive way. Don't you think?

If you're going to be in a cast for three weeks, you need to do it up right. First, you pick a good color. Loud, Christmas green. Check! Then, you come home and break out the Sharpies so friends and family can sign away. Because we wouldn't want it to stay neat and clean for too long. That would be no fun. And as my entire evening would suggest, we're all about having fun.

Note to self: When offspring complain of pain and discomfort, suspend the shopping/crafting/schooling/sporting agenda and investigate. They probably broke something and will require medical attention. Good to know. Very, very good to know.

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