My wife and I keep questioning where all the time went, but it has passed at the same rate as always–one second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time.
My wife chose our daughter’s name–our firstborn, so I got to choose the name of our son. I thought of David and Jonathan in the Old Testament, and though the relationship between father and son involves authority and discipline, my hope has always been that as he grew into an adult, we would develop a close bond that goes beyond mere blood relation.
I’m grateful because I believe we have that. As much as sometimes Jon looks up to me, I am impressed by him–by his concern for others, by his passion for God, by his insights and perception and how those translate into meaningful actions.
For the last few years, Jon has been diving deep into a relationship with God that informs how he reacts and relates to the people around him. The shy guy who barely talked to anyone is now teaching weekly studies on how to share your faith with others.
People approach me and tell me how blessed they are by what Jon does and says–how he shares his faith and his struggles with honesty, how he shows genuine love and interest in those around him, how he carries himself with maturity and responsibility.
There are few things better as a parent than hearing people praise your children… though I can’t claim credit for what God has done in and through Jon.
Today, perhaps as a sort of birthday present, Jon got word that he has been accepted into LifeCompass, a 4-month program for young adults that will give him experience performing missionary and humanitarian work in Thailand.
He doesn’t have his whole future mapped out yet, but he’s charting a course that involves impacting the lives of others for the better…
As he has mine.
I’m incredibly proud to call this young man my son, my brother in Christ, and my friend.
As is our custom, each member of my family opened one Christmas present on Christmas Eve, a little pre-celebration or appetizer for the main event. We did this fairly late in the evening, after a drive to purchase a festive meal of curry from Coco’s and to look at Christmas lights.
So it was pretty late when we decided to watch Middle Son’s chosen gift, the Tim Burton movie, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Not exactly Christmas fare, perhaps, but it’s one he wanted and half the family hadn’t seen it yet.
By the time the movie ended, it was about 1 AM. I’d blame military life and the chaos it sometimes brings, but the fact is we’re pretty much night owls when our tired bodies can put up with the strain. Wifey stays up all hours of the night, and so do I if caffeine and work commitments permit. The teens will try to watch movies at midnight if they can get away with it.
So everyone came to the same conclusion: It’s already Christmas “morning” at this point. The allure of a pile of presents under Christmas lights proved too great to resist… Except for 6-year-old Dude, who was passed out during the early part of the movie (where I admit I also stole a nice catnap).
Once he woke up, groggy and stretching, we asked him if he wanted to open presents. Silly question, of course the answer was yes.
This year’s haul was pretty good for all parties.
We set out to make it special for everyone–knowing the cost associated with that–because it’s likely the last Christmas with all six of us together under one roof as one family. Despite any contrary advice or warnings received thus far, Teenage Daughter has an unwavering resolve to move out shortly after turning eighteen and marry her boyfriend, who will probably join the Air Force at that point. (The good news is he’s a pretty decent individual.)
Wifey’s love language is gift-giving, and this year she definitely hit several home runs. Her influence shows strong in our daughter, who also came up with several “OMG it’s perfect” reaction gifts.
My 34-ounce French Press gift is already in use this morning as I make eggs, cherry pancakes and corned beef hash. Teen Son got a much-desired Study Bible, a couple of anime movies, and a giant-size Uno card deck, a game he loves playing with his friends or with our little Dude. Teen Daughter got a collection of art and makeup supplies along with a laminator for photos she intends to print. The Dude and Middle Son got a nice collection of toys and movies they love. Wifey made off with a movie and some high-ticket beauty supplies she probably thought I’d never buy.
Sadly no one thought much of the gift of sleeping in. My work schedule builds in a habit of rising early even if I want more sleep, and Middle Son is a natural early bird. Things could be worse… We have a relaxing yet full Christmas schedule today. A chapel service, a large but non-traditional celebratory meal, an evening visitor, and some live streamed Christmas music on Facebook… And probably more I’m forgetting.
As a touch of holiday cheer, I’ll post some of the Christmas music on my Facebook author page if I can overcome my technological limitations.
Speaking of gifts, Diffraction, my fantasy novel, is free on Kindle through the end of Christmas Day.
I hope your holidays are bright and full of good food, fellowship, and fun.
Apparently today is “National Ravioli Day,” if the Ruby Tuesday’s e-mail ad is to be believed.
I love me some cheese-filled pasta, whether it’s a special restaurant recipe or simple Chef Boyardee’s. So I’m down for celebrating what is clearly a holiday of great cultural import, second only to National Twerk at Work Day (April 1st, if memory serves).
It’s not too late for ravioli. Supper awaits. You too can celebrate this great American… um… dinner option? Side dish?
I’d love to find the persons responsible for setting all these “National Day of” whatever days. I mean, do they have a database to ensure no repeats, with all these new additions over the years? Who determines if something is a bit too close to another day’s coverage?
For example, would National Linguine Day conflict with Ravioli Day? Probably not. But National Fettuccine Day would have to be scrapped, and I’m pretty sure Spaghetti Day has them both beat.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (yes, that’s a thing) might even claim it as a religious holiday.
Perhaps we could have a day to celebrate all the various national days we now have, hence the title of this post. We could promote it under the guise of encouraging diversity, which is never a bad thing.
Never ever. (One cannot be weak in their praise of this virtue, lest one become a pundit on Fox News and find oneself summarily dismissed by those that hold the correct opinions.)
Despite the inherent diversity, all these conflicting days can become confusing for the average consumer. Therefore I will begin a petition to demand a new addition to the Executive Branch, in order to ensure proper celebration selections and mitigation of National Day conflicts. It will be called the Department of Holidays.
Because if the US Government has proven anything of late, it’s that they definitely deserve a giant “DOH!”
The home of David M. Williamson, writer of fantasy, sci-fi, short stories, and cultural rants.