Saturday, December 18, 2010


It is not quite Christmas Day, but the Advent calendar tells us it is seven days away, one week, so before I get swept up in the mad pre-Christmas week madness, I wanted to share a Christmas Story.

We all know the story.  We know that Jesus was born on Christmas, and we are celebrating his birthday by giving the people we love gifts to celebrate.  We know that Mary and Joseph huddled in a manger for that virgin birth, and that the wisemen came from far and wide to offer up their presents to Jesus.  

But there is a newer story, one scribed on December 18, 2010, in Jasper, Indiana, and it is with awe and reverence that I share it with all of you.

"David?" I said, to my five-year-old grandson, the love of my life, who I was watching while his mother worked at the Inn (where there were no rooms).  It actually was the Holiday Inn Express, but you get the idea.

"What, Gramma?" He asked, his little cheeks pink, his excitement about Christmas barely contained.

"If you will do some chores for me, like go upstairs and clean your room, then clean the bathroom, and take the cardboard out to the recycling bin, I will give you your allowance early today."

Up the stairs he sprinted.  He can still sprint, you see.  He is five.  I do not sprint anywhere, much less up the stairs.  

Off he went.  I wanted him duly occupied while I showered because anyone who knows this gorgeous, precocious child, knows that I did not want him left to his own devices downstairs for even the seven short minutes I would be indisposed in the shower.  

But as happens sometimes, in situations like this, he had something very important to say, and he knocked quietly on the bathroom door just as I stepped out of the shower and said, in a whisper, "Gramma?"  

"Yes, David, what is it?  I'm just about out."

"Um, well, Gramma?  Which knob do you push to close the washing machine door?  I'M DOING MY OWN LAUNDRY!"  He was so excited to be doing something more for me than I asked, but his little revelation prompted a quick towel dry and a panicked voice from my side, "No, no, no, NO...David NO!"

The little boy who is the love of my life said, "It's okay, Gramma, I already put the blue stuff in."  

It took me all of thirty seconds to exit the bathroom, throw on a pair of jeans in my bedroom, and the dirty sweatshirt I had taken off and dash off to the laundry room. 

Panicked I said, "Okay, which blue stuff did you put in?"  He showed me the fabric softener.  We have a front-loading washer, one of the high-efficiency ones, so the liquids all go into compartments in a little drawer on the front, and by some miracle, he had gotten the Downy in the right one.  Of course, I do not have any idea how much Downy, but it was already flowing into the tub, so I have to take it on faith, (and is that not part of what Christmas is all about anyway?) that he put in close to the correct amount.

"David, this is so admirable of you, to want to do your own laundry, and it sure is a big help to me, but you need to first let me show you how to do it right, okay?"  

Next, I showed him how to measure the detergent, how many clothes he could wash at once, and how to set the correct time.  He was fascinated, and I am sure he will be until he is about six years old when doing his own laundry is way too difficult a task for him.  

When I found out he really could clean the bathroom and did a much better job than I do, it did not take me anytime to hand that job over to him and bribe him with a dollar bill to get it done.  I take full advantage of that service!

So, I did not have the courage to ask if he added bleach, and I carefully unloaded my own jeans and shirts he had put in with his.  After all, the element of surprise is also a part of Christmas, and this one might be the biggest one of my entire year!  

There are some words you cherish from your grandchildren at Christmastime:  "I love you, Gramma!"  "Would you teach me to bake cookies, Gramma?"  "I LOVE my gift, Gramma, thank you!" And "Merry Christmas, Gramma!"  

There are some words you should dread, if you have not gotten the opportunity to learn them on your own as of yet, just put these in your file for later use:  "I started my own laundry, Gramma!  I even already added the blue stuff, come look!"  

If those clothes come out the correct colors and not white and light pink, I will retitle this, "The Miracle on Seventh Street."

Merry Christmas to you all.  Have a safe and happy holiday!  

Photo by Kathy McWhirt:  Do Not Copy. 

1 comment:

Tracy said...

LOL. I want to know the REST OF THE STORY.