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When play was work, and work was play

iciclesI kick away the packed and icy snow from the slate walk and it breaks into chunks. Like tectonic plates, the continents move aside to reveal the dark stone underneath.

I am transported back to the elementary school playground. Hour upon hour we played 4-square on that black top. Except on icy days when inch-thick plates of ice prevented access. On those days, with the heel of my snow boots, I pounded and pounded until a few inches and then a few more gave way. Others join in the assault. Occasionally, a large sheet gives way and a shout of triumph rings out.

The school bell sounds. Man, that was a lot of work!
Next recess, we play.

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Open Letter to Santa

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Dear Santa

That’s as far as I got on my letter. I don’t remember the last time I wrote a letter to Santa. But this year I have pledged to do one thing each day that a kid would do. Of course a kid would write a letter to Santa, so here it sits on my desk, its red and green letters staring back at me.

Why is it so difficult to write to Santa?

  • because I am not a kid? Maybe, but there are things on my Christmas list… why not write them?
  • because what I want doesn’t come from a store? Nice try, but that’s rationalization. Can’t I still ask?
  • because I don’t know where to begin. Now we’re getting somewhere.

The traditional, “I have been good this year” doesn’t cover all the bases. Can I lie to Santa? If he’s keeping a naughty and nice list, surely he knows all the not too nice things I did or said or didn’t do and lied about. So…

I have tried to be good this year but you know, it’s hard.

Stop stalling and get to the LIST!! What’s the harm in asking? But… isn’t asking selfish? Oh my goodness, what kid ever thinks about THAT? My adult-ness is disabling. I hope Santa understands.

So let’s ease into this… (after you bring the stuff for the kids and the dogs and my husband – because I want them to be happy – and after you bring stuff for people who really need stuff… if there is some extra room in your bag and it won’t weigh down your sleigh or be an undue burden for your tiny reindeer, could you…)

Oh my goodness how I avoid this conversation. Asking for what I really want, even if I am not sure I believe Santa can give it to me, is nearly impossible. Until I get started. Then it all tumbles out. I’m already at #8 before I realize that this list is a prayer. Item upon item are things I dearly, dearly long for. Specific things. And just for a moment it doesn’t seem selfish at all, it seems real, and I am not ashamed to ask.

#8. Bring me courage and nerve to speak up for these kids, even if it means risking my reputation.

Apparently, we need to ask for what we want so we can see what we really need.

I guess that about does it for this year, Santa. You know, you’re easier to talk to than the guy who could actually bring me these things. Why is that? Why, when I was a kid, was this so easy?

Santa, by any chance do you know Jesus? If you do, can you pass along my list? 

Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Love,

Wendy

Now. Send or don’t send? Oh, this adult-ness is gonna take some time to get over!

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