A Piece of Christmas by Susan McGee Bailey
December 18, 2014 § 14 Comments
It’s Saturday, the thirteenth of December. Christmas is almost two weeks away and already my daughter’s excitement is closer to high anxiety than happy anticipation. “I need a piece of Christmas now, Mother. Right now!”
The next few days are going to be tough.
Since her birth more than forty years ago, Amy has survived complicated surgeries, spent months in rehab centers, and endured painful therapies. She is doing far better than many believed possible. But her world is the concrete, immediate world of childhood.
What can we do today that will help her gain a sense of control amid the pre-Christmas hype and clamor? Maybe a drive followed by breakfast out? A car ride won’t occupy the entire day, but it may get us off to a better start. Perhaps I’ll have another idea after a cup of coffee.
In the car Amy issues directions to familiar places with authoritative accuracy. “Turn here; look for horses; now go straight. Keep your ear on me! Amy knows the way!”
As we make the final turn before reaching Captain Marden’s, our favorite breakfast place, Amy gasps, “Mother, look! Look on my side!” Several runners line the road. Each is wearing some version of a Santa Claus outfit except one dressed entirely in brown and waving chubby arms. A gingerbread man? A teddy bear?
“It’s Rudolf, Mother! He’s showing all the Santa Clauses how he runs!”
I consider disagreeing. The runner looks like a gingerbread man to me.
Amy interrupts. “Oh, Mother, I love Rudolf! Can we find another piece of Christmas tomorrow?”
My gloom evaporates. Amy is right. She’s found a piece of Christmas. Who’s to say another one won’t come along tomorrow?
Susan McGee Bailey lives in Wellesley, MA where she directed the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College for twenty-five years. She studies writing with a small group in Brookline and takes creative nonfiction classes at Grub Street in Boston. Her work has appeared in academic journals, Ms. Magazine and The Women’s Review of Books.