my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas gift

I'm up at my mother's in Washington for a week and a half. G has been sleeping in the attic, which has been furnished with 3/4-size mattresses for young visitors to sleep on. In order not to shove him out of the bed when K gets here, I've told him he gets to sleep in the bed with me 1 night this trip and will sleep upstairs the rest of the time. The offered nights are Christmas Eve and Christmas night. He chose Christmas Eve. We got into bed and I pulled out an illustrated copy of Hans Christian Anderson tales from which to read.

He'd been challenging that night, so I decided I was going to choose the story instead of giving him the choice. I glanced through the table of contents and spied "The Little Match Girl." I remembered reading that story when I was young, so I chose it.

It is not a long story... and not a happy one. The little girl has no shoes and is walking around in the snow trying to find someone to whom to sell matches. She has not sold any and is afraid of being beaten if she returns home with no money. (G asks, "What does 'beaten' mean?" Oh, my.) We get near the end and she is lighting matches and warming herself ever so little for a short time and sees a vision of her grandmother, "the only person who had ever loved her" but has since passed away. She lights all of the matches to see her grandmother more clearly for a brief moment. I glanced forward and stopped reading. G asked why.

I started to cry and pulled him close, not wanting to but ending up telling him that the little girl dies--but then she does get to go to Heaven and be with her grandmother, the only person who had ever loved her. I cried and cried and talked about children who never have anyone to love them, and children who are beaten, and how lucky we are to be warm and fed and have so many people who loved us. We named off all the people who love us. I said that this is why we need to do things for children who don't have anyone to love them--this is why we give money, and food, and clothing.

Hug your babies, everyone. (of all kinds)

Thank you for being part of the large group of people who love us.

Merry Christmas to those who so celebrate

3 Comments:

At 4:44 PM, December 25, 2006, Blogger asingingfool said...

we so love you both dear!

 
At 6:31 PM, January 02, 2007, Anonymous Dana said...

What a great post for the holidays and all year round. Thank you for sharing your story.

 
At 10:33 AM, January 06, 2007, Blogger snarfdog said...

Thanks for making me cry again. ;)

 

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