I have been wondering for a while now, where to start the actual writing of this blog. I try and live my life under the assumption that if we are open to it the Universe will send us ideas or answers. And so I’ve just been waiting until something really struck me.
This article was it. A lovely post about a family who begins their holiday season by pulling out a box – not of decorations – but of books. EUREKA! This was our reality here on the farm as children. And it is one of the most grounding and foundational things I remember and hold dear to my heart from growing up here.
I have two younger brothers and each night before bed all five of us went and snuggled down on the floor or sprawled across a bed to listen to my dad read us a book or two. We rotated rooms each night and whoever claimed ownership of the room owned the right to choose the story.Around Christmas, a tattered cardboard box was pulled out of the attic. And it contained in it all manner of wonderful story treasure; The Night Before Christmas, The Polar Express, The Gingerbears’ Christmas…All three of us looked forward to this time of the year. On Thanksgiving night we would run around the house helping my dad put the candles in the window and we knew that it meant that that night we could choose a Christmas story to read!Just writing about this right now, I can feel my heart welling up with emotion. I now understand what it was that my parents did for us with those stories. For Christmas, they gave us the gift of imagination and excitement that came from the anticipation and joy… of a story!! of an activity! There were no gifts, no presents involved in this time, but we were all together.
My dad to this day works 80 hours a week, but when we were children he was home every morning to have breakfast with us, every night for dinner and every night for storytime. And a foundation such that they gave us is a gift I’m afraid not every child receives anymore. In fact, a reality of my life and my choices is that it takes a TON of energy to make sure that foundation is in place for my little Bug. Realizing that, I now find myself in even more wonder and appreciation of what it was that my parents provided for us.And last Christmas – I like to think – we began Eli’s foundation. Snuggled up in my parents living room we all gathered around to hear my father read the story we all know by heart. I brought down the Little Golden Book copy of The Night Before Christmas from the tattered cardboard box. My mother was incredible about writing in our books and this one says, “For Abigail Mae on her first Christmas, December 1983.” My dad has read it to me every Christmas since, yes, EVERY Christmas. If I wasn’t in Whitingham, I called him and made him read it (almost always getting a chuckle, whose 24-year-old daughter calls them and says, can you read me a story Daddy?”)
So I snuggled up in the chair with my six-month-old 7th generation of the Corse family son (the absolute most precious gift I’ve ever received) next to my Dad, with my brothers and Dave and my mom scattered about the floor and listened while he read – in between Eli trying to grab at and eat the pages – the story I know by heart. And at that moment, my heart has never been fuller.