Thursday, December 17, 2009

What About Rudolph?

I have enjoyed a perfect day.  The elements of it are as follows:  adorable kindergarten tots who are truly excited about Santa and the gifts that they have made for their families; an amazing holiday concert performed during the morning at our little school by young children who managed to completely warm my heart; a delicious turkey dinner luncheon provided for our staff by our principal that brought us all together for a half hour of good food, good cheer, and tranquility in this busy school week;  a pervasive feeling of "good will toward men" in our home and school; a husband who arrived home from a company "holiday" event bouyant and happy.

One characteristic event in this kindergarten teacher's day occurred during afternoon story time.  A few children begged me to read the "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" story book - which I did.  Please take a moment to imagine their little starry eyes, sympathy and belief written all over their dear little faces, and an earnestness that is so evident amongst four- and five-year-olds.  We savoured each illustration and imagined how poor Rudolph must have felt - mocked, excluded, sad.  Rudolph's fans know that the story has a happy ending - he provides light to Santa on a "foggy Christmas Eve" and, with great rejoicing, is outfitted in a harness with bells and sent to the front of the line to guide Santa's sleigh.  (Now, please try to picture the happy smiles and delighted faces of my little students...).  This is the point where my day takes on a poignant sweetness as one little boy asks:  "Is Rudolph real?"  My task at this stage of their lives is to keep the magic alive without trying to be dishonest.  Hence, my reply:  "He's real if you can believe in magic and wonder at this time of year."  That seemed to satisfy all of the children and I then guided the conversation elsewhere.

Upon reflection later in the evening, I was somewhat amused by the question.  There we were, wondering whether or not Rudolph was "real" when, in reality, this question can only be asked by someone who already believes in Santa Claus, elves, the North Pole toy factory, and flying reindeer that can visit all homes on the planet Earth in one evening!  I remember believing so powerfully for many of my own early years.  Like many of my friends and family members, I resisted my rational thoughts because it was just so good to believe!  As an adult, reading these stories again to little people is such a treat.  I am immersed once more in the warm coccoon of belief that defies reason and logic and invites spasms of delight.

So, what about Rudolph?  Is he real?  Is there any pleasure for you in imagining that he is or was - once upon a time?  It is a truly magical time of year, particularly if you can find a small child to share it with.  Just imagine....

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Wondering about Rudolph...

Wondering Woman

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter whispers

I am a Sagittarian.  One of my official followers (and I love them both!) maintains that when the sun is transiting one's own astrological sign, that lucky twelfth of the population is "in the zone" - in every way!  Perhaps it is the power of suggestion, perhaps there is some truth to this belief.  Whatever... however... I do feel as if I am enjoying my annual "time in the sun" right now.

Tonight is a fine example.  I am at home (no demands on my evening time for a change other than being at home) with many of our children, my husband, and my dogs.  Our Christmas tree is up (with lights only), there's a fire in our fire place (fake fire logs are very convincing), there are great tunes flowing out of our CD player, my new "Hello" magazine arrived in today's mail, I have a big bowl of my favourite chips at my finger tips and a chilled glass of white wine to wash them down.  Outside, the wind is howling, our holiday lights are swinging precariously from our front yard tree, and the snow that came to visit yesterday is now frozen in patches all over our neighbourhood.  My hair is less than ideal, my waist is thickening, my complexion is raw and wind-burned, my hands are now chapped, and the braces on my lower teeth are as annoying as ever.  So what?  And that's the beauty of it all right now...I honestly mean those two words:  so what?!

Tonight, I could not be any happier.  These are the times we all aspire to:  warm hearts, full tummies, companions, laughter, music, comraderie, good cheer.  Holiday cards started?  No.  Christmas shopping done?  No.  Baking started?  Wrong girl!  Racing pulse, sleepless nights?  Nope.  All's truly well with my world.

Michael J. Fox is a "lucky man" and I am a lucky woman.  And why am I so lucky?  Simply because I know I am and I can honestly feel it.  Will I always feel this way?  No.  The beauty of this evening and this time in my life is that right now, life is good because I recognize it for what it is and I have the capacity at this time to savour it.  It won't last and that's okay.  The challenges that wait for me in the new year will allow me to enjoy the sweet times even more. 

So - cozy up, treat yourself kindly, and whisper some sweet nothings that only you can hear.  Join me in the zone and share my time in the sun.


Wondering Woman