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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Story







I watched the Jim Carey version of A Christmas Carol the other night. It's a lot scarier than the one with Mr. Magoo. Of course Mr. Magoo was the first one I ever saw and, at 6 years old, it scared me silly.



I remember I was in Arlington, Virginia with my mom, and my sister was having heart surgery at Walter Reed army hospital. My niece, Jeanna and I were left with a Nazi baby sitter that night. Oh yeah, she was all sticky sweet, pony tail, Bobbie sock girl, while my mom and Si (my sister's husband) were there. But as soon as they left for the hospital she started treating us like, well like children. This was something I was not used to. The baby of a large family is always treated as an equal. Better, but equal. I didn't take naps and I was certainly never on a schedule. I was a princess and Jeanna was royalty, being my niece and all, and this sitter was just plain wicked.



After watching the terrifying, yet animated tale, we were promptly sent to bed. We didn't get to discuss our fears or how the story affected us. No prayers or drinks of water, nothing. Just go to bed. But worse yet, she made me sleep in Jeanna's baby bed. I was 6 years old. I couldn't even stretch out my legs. I lay there while Jeanna cried and looked at the bars all around me. It was like prison. Then suddenly I smelled something. I thought, it couldn't be, but it was. The wicked Nazi baby sitter was having POPCORN!



Finally, Mom and Si were home. The sitter talked about what good children we were as she fell all over herself flirting with Si. I hope she had popcorn stuck in her teeth. Mom rolled her eyes at the girl and under her breath said "good Lord" when she saw me in that baby bed.



Later that night Jeanna and I would sleep snug against my mom in her tiny bed, and all was right with the world.

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A wife, mother, and spoiler of small dogs, I grew up in a small West Texas town, with my eyes full of sand, and my heart full of joy.


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