A few weeks before Christmas, the crew and I were sitting around the kitchen table, eating dinner. The thing about dinner at our house is that there’s no TV, phone calls or texting (Which is a real pain in the ass for me. Cause god forbid I get a text or 4 from Kelly Marie. I NEVER hear the end of it from the peanut gallery. “No texting at dinner, Fadddderrrrrrrrrr!” Blah, blah, blah. Stupid kids. There’s a reason why we have double standards in this country. So people like me can have our way and everyone else follows the rules!), so we have to sit around and actually talk to each other. Most nights, though, we just either stare blankly into space, chewing our curd or stare blankly at each other. This one particular night, I was feeling a little personable. I guess I had the Christmas spirit (as if).
“Fadder! Jethro’s talking at me!”
“So?” I turned to Jakob, sitting next to me at the end of the table. “What are you asking Santa for Christmas, Yellowhead?”
“I’m getting a 3DS.” Jakob responded. Quite confidently, I might add.
The thing is, he WAS getting a 3DS. I already worked out the logistics on that one with the big man in red. But, Jakob didn’t know that. So I was really curious where his confidence was coming from. “How do you know you’re getting one?”
Jakob shrugged, continuing to shovel food into his mouth. “Cause I know.”
I raised an eyebrow in his general direction. “How? How do you know?” I asked, curiously. “You know, you don’t get everything you want for Christmas. It is a wish list.”
“Tell me about it!” Sarah interjected from the other side of the table. “I want a pony. I’ve wanted a pony forever.”
I glanced over at her, rolling my eyes. “I know, sweetheart. I know.” I replied, consolingly. “You’re getting a pony this year, though. It’s already in the garage. Just don’t peak, k?”
Sarah dropped her fork with feigned excitement. “Really?!?!? I am?”
“Yep!” I said sarcastically. “But, Christmas is still a few weeks away, so don’t go peeking in the garage.”
“She’s not getting a pony!” Jakob interrupted, while Jethro and Natalia stifled giggles. “Sarah’s not getting a pony. There isn’t even a pony in the garage.”
“How much for the pony, Wonka?”
“Daddy!!!!!” Sarah whined, slamming her hands on the table. “He’s lying! Tell me he’s lying!”
“Nownownownow. Don’t listen to your baby brother, Sarah. He’s just jealous you’re getting a pony and he’s not getting a 3DS.
“Am too!” Jakob replied. “You’ll see, Dad! You’ll see!”
Christmas morning, I went to pick the kids up at the Mother’s house bright and early. Jakob came running out of the house waving his new 3DS in the air.
Now wait. Before we go any further, I want to make something clear, here. I said earlier I made arrangements with the big man in red about getting Jakob the 3DS, not Jakob’s mother. So, yes, sitting under the tree at our house was another wrapped up 3DS. I know. I know. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: Maybe if I communicated with the Mother, these things wouldn’t happen. Well, first of all, if that’s what you’re thinking, nuts to you! Cause even if I did make it clear to the Mother that I was getting Jakob the 3DS, there would be some spite work in action, so it really doesn’t matter. So there! How you like me now?
What I normally tell the kids is to ask Santa for different things for the different houses. That way we don’t have multiple 3DSes going on (Between you and me, though, I think the lil turd did it on purpose. I think he wanted 2 3DSes).
But, back to our story...
Truth is truth…
“See?” Jakob said, eagerly sliding the van door open. He shoved the little red unit in my face. “Santa did bring me a 3DS, Fadder!”
I rolled my eyes. Not at the fact that he was “right”. Or that he was being a smart ass about being right (cause believe you me, he was). I rolled my eyes over the fact that in the eternal battle for parental love, I guess the Mother’s Santa beat your friendly neighborhood Jman’s Santa to the punch. “Whatever, Jakob. Just get in the van.” I paused for a moment. “Oh...and, Merry Christmas.”
“Fadder? Is this what I think it is, Fadder?” Jakob asked, shaking the small box wrapped in cheerful holiday paper. He stood across what had been five minutes earlier our living room floor. Now? It was a disaster of discarded wrapping paper, shrink wrap and miscellaneous plastic pieces. I haven’t seen such devastation since…well, last Christmas.
Like this, only the decorations would be all over the floor too.
The three older kids, sitting around the room looked at me, back at the box in Jakob’s hand, then back at me, stunned. I shrugged at all of them. What are you gonna do? “I don’t know, Jakob. Why don’t you open it and find out.”
Jakob quickly dispatched the box from the wrapping paper. “See?” He thrust the 3DS in the air, triumphantly. “I told you Santa was bringing me a 3DS. He brought me two!!!” He said rather gleefully.
And that’s why I think Jakob had this thing planned out. I just shook my head. “Whatever, Jakob!” I looked over a Jethro. “Go ahead, Jettboy. It’s your turn to open a gift.”
When the last of the presents was opened, I stood up. “There is one more gift.” I announced as the kids lounged around like drunken sailors amongst the docks.
“There is???” Jethro perked up.
“Yep. It’s for Sarah.” I smirked, looking over at her.
“For me?” She jumped up, clapping her hands excitedly.
“Yes, for you, sweetheart!”
“Is it my pony? The pony I always wanted?” She said, hands clasped together jumping with waaayyyyyyy over the top excitement.
“I don’t know, sugarplum. Why don’t we all go outside and take a look.” The bottom three collectively rolled their eyes at each other. “C’mon, everyone. C’mon!”
We all step out into the cold, crisp Christmas morning, the frost on the front lawn reflecting the early morning December sun in all directions. A quiet had blanketed our block, creating a feeling of peace and tranquility (God damn! Fucking poetry in motion! I’m telling you, the greats make it look easy.). We gathered around each other, arm in arm, as the garage door opened and revealed: