Long, long ago I wrote an essay about my hopes for having a girl child. That with each of my three pregnancies I hoped and dreamed of pink sleepers, ballet classes, and the camaraderie of a female living in my home. With three brothers and no sisters, I yearned for female companionship. I figured that perhaps what I missed in a sister I could find in a daughter.
I worked on that essay for two years. I sent it out to several journals and it became a finalist in two. Finally, one chose it but right before publication a matter came up in regard to the venue and my use of the word penis. It was such the perfect word for the sentence, but the headmaster of verbiage at the publication didn't agree. I would gladly have pulled the word or resupplied something else like dink, wanger, unit, you know, I was willing. Alas, the piece didn't make it into the book and continues to languish in a file cabinet along with many of my other essays that just didn't quite make the cut.
Perhaps a slap in the face to remind me that I didn't ever get a sister and I had three sons. Not like I needed a slap in the face to remember that. But as time went by and I spent my life at ballparks, boy scouts, the men's department, and sports stores, I forgot about a life with a daughter. Besides, my boys provided me with great love.
Daughters - didn't need one.
This past Christmas was a difficult one. Energy for the season wasn't exactly flowing. With the death of my mother the past September, I couldn't quite muster the joy of the season. I did get my cards out, baked some bread, put up decorations, and bought my very first fake tree. You might recall that I wrote how we put it up and the poor thing only had a 23yr old paperplate angel and couple of doves. Pathetic display.
The previous Christmas I had given my new daughter-in-law a kit for knitting a stocking. The style matched all those I had made for myself and the other kids, which was a match for my husbands made by his aunt long ago.
When I gave it to her, I joked that knowing me next Christmas would creep up and I wouldn't have begun. Yes, that kit sat in my knitting basket beside my chair where I reside and 11 months went by before I took it out and began. It had been 20 years since I'd made the last one, so a learning curve was in order. I began with too large of needles so my gauge was off. But time was clicking by and I had no time to begin anew.
Onto Christmas Eve we gathered early in the afternoon. Daughter-in-law Chelsea and I had tea in my grandmother's china cups. She made sangria for a colorful cocktail. We prepared trays of appetizers. While waiting for dinner, we sat in the family room, the fake tree lit up with its measly collection of store bought candy canes plus an angel and three doves. Still hadn't had the gumption to get out the ornament boxes.
When I mentioned that fact, Chelsea rose with great energy, "I'll do it." I thought she was joking, but no, the boxes were brought in and she spent the next hour or more sorting through the ornaments and making our tree look like a true Christmas tree. My heart warmed like it hadn't in quite some time as I saw her work - and the joy she exuded as she laughed brought lightness to the room. The task that I had dreaded while carrying great weight on my heart, she completed with ease.
Even adding a touch of holiday here and there around the house.
I don't know if everyone needs a daughter, but I am most thankful I have one.
Please visit Chelsea's Blog Somewhere Between Rustic and Shabby