Monday, December 06, 2004


Tonight, at the annual Women's Fellowship Salad Potluck Christmas Program, I tried to listen, really. But I got distracted and found myself thinking about this really old woman I used to visit when I was in college.

I had volunteered to adopt a grandparent. I was assigned this woman named Annette, who had crazy gray hair and dentures that clacked together when she talked. She also made a bunch of weird food for us to eat each time, strange combinations like ice cream and Rice Krispies with peanut butter on apples. We sat at her tiny table and I told her stories about college, all about the boy I was obsessed with and she told me stories about teaching. She'd never married and never had children.

We visited every week for two years.

Several years after I graduated from college, I found myself back in that midwestern town and thought I'd drop in on my old adopted grandma. I knocked at her door, waited for an eternity for her to make her way through her tiny apartment and then the door swung open.

She stood and looked at me with a completely blank look on her face. I said, "Hi! It's me! Mel!" She had no idea who I was. I said, "I used to visit you every week when I went to college next door." She said, "Well, I can't really remember. Would you like to come in?"

I should have been thinking about Baby Jesus and about gifts we can give Him (our time, our money, our talent), but instead, I thought about Annette and how she didn't remember a second of our time together.

But I guess that wasn't really the point of it. I didn't realize it at the time. I was young and I attached significance to everything. Now I know that sometimes, a moment is just a moment and then it slips away. Some moments don't have a future. That's why you're supposed to notice them because you might only have that one chance.

Moments today: I came downstairs to find the kitties playing volleyball with the Christmas ornaments. One shattered. I found a headless Virgin Mary in the African nativity set and a Wise Man without a foot.

Babygirl absolutely refuses to wear a shirt. I hope this is not a sign that she will one day serve beer in a seedy bar with other topless waitresses.

YoungestBoy was coughing his head off tonight. This can only mean that we are now playing Ring Around the Virus and he'll now have a sloppy, mucusy cold. I hope that Babygirl doesn't come down with the Stomach Virus from Hell.

I shot a roll of film this week with my very old Nikon and nearly every picture had a line scratched through it. I have had this trouble off and on with this camera. It appears that something scratches the film as it forwards through the camera. At any rate, not a single picture turned out well enough to meet my standard for this year's Christmas Letter Picture. I might end up using one from this summer when we went to Mt. Rainier. It's getting more and more difficult to take pictures of all of the children at the same time.

I am post-party and found myself sort of immobilized today. I can't really think of what pressing matter needs my attention--though Christmas is coming, I have yet to compile my student records and academic plans for the twins, laundry never ends. I did so little today, especially since I gave the still-lethargic boys the day off. At least the peanut butter pie is gone burp and is no longer a distraction to me.

Thank you for your comments about your favorite posts here. I am taking all your comments to heart. I'll let you know what I come up with.


Blogger QQ said...

I like your take on passing moments.
I haven't set our nativity set out yet. I don't want the kids to ruin it. They've ruined everything else. The least I can do is save baby Jesus.

2:00 PM  

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