No plans had been made. Whirling freely requires a strict lack of scheduling. Think about it, how many people do you know who had NO PLANS for this granddaddy of all holidays?
The Child sleeps in until 8:30 am, having stayed up until 3 am with me while I attempted to fix a computer problem. He runs into the living room to find his Corkscrew Canyon, yo-yo, 3 books, lollipops and Boggle game. He seems satisfied and refrains from his annual questioning regarding the existence of Santa Clause.
The day is mild for December and somewhat rainy. The Child wants to go outside to shoot off rockets (last year's Christmas gift) and explore the park outside of our house. The rain morphs into a foggy mist. We walk for a long time, ending up at a lake with some melting ice to temp our fates with. We prevail.
Back at home I feast on key lime cookies and exquisite chocolates, a gift from friend Joe, and spicy cashews, a gift from friend Steve. The Child, who doesn't eat, builds Corkscrew Canyon free-form (directions be damned). I think about whether or not there is anything I HAVE to do this day in order to be at peace, and I decide that that would be calling my Father in NY. We are not close, never have been, but something compells me.
I call, we make small talk, he puts his wife on the phone, she rambles about her childhood, she rambles about her remarkable adult children, I listen without judgment as I have learned to do, I talk to him again, he says he is having surgery on his eyelid January 18, I say have a nice Christmas, we hang up.
I am off the hook.
I remember that friends Doug and Cathy have sent gifts. I haul them out of their hiding place and alert the Child. He is ecstatic at the prospect of continued gift opening. He rips open his box to find a racing computer game, hoots with glee, and starts playing it.
I open mine. It is Divine Chuckles Life from a Higher Perspective by Lin Martin, forward by Kevin Ryerson. Suffice it to say that this is the PERFECT gift for me in that it is a book, and I have had personal contact with both Lin Martin and Kevin Ryerson. I am ecstatic.
The Child wants to go outside for another walk. This is remarkable. I never knew my Child could be so wholesome.
The Child finally decides, following our second long walk, that he is hungry. I offer to take him to a Chinese buffet, a trick I learned years ago from friend Doug. The Chinese have no reason to shut down on Christmas. I had not planned for the Holiday, as you may recall, so I had no food in the house beyond key lime cookies, chocolates and cashews.
We try a new Chinese buffet restaurant near out house. It looks impressive, but the food sucks. Even whirlingbetty can't eat it. This quality of food, however, often mysteriously appeals to kids. The Child fills his plate several times until I put the kibash on it. Embarrassed to waste food, I end up stuffing my pockets with chicken pillows for the Chihuahua. As we exit the restaurant, fellow diners stare at the noticeable grease stains bulging out of the sides of my hot pink down jacket.
Friend David had invited us to stop by. We do. Friends Robert and Joe are there. They cook. I sit. Robert and the Child play Boggle. We eat a meal which includes two desserts: kugel and apple pie. Robert entertains the Child, mercifully, while David , Joe and I go out for a walk. We watch a DVD: The Triplets of Bellville. We leave.
Back home, the Child goes to bed without complaint. I stay up to watch a taped episode of my favorite soap opera.
This was the IDEAL whirlingbetty Christmas.