Friday, December 09, 2005

Greatest Gift

Lauren and I have been quite busy preparing for the Christmas Holiday. Lauren pointed out to me that we have 22 people on our gift list this year and that does not include Max, Lauren or me. She said to me last night, “I don’t know how your parents did It.” with having so many kids and Godchildren and brothers and sisters.

Every year at this time I think the same thing. How did they pull it off? There were 9 of us. That’s a lot of presents for Santa to deliver.

Christmas morning was always a whirlwind in our house. The night before, my parents would arrange the gifts in piles under the tree with each of our names on our designated pile (We still, to this day, joke about who had the biggest piles of gifts, FYI- Jimmy). We would all come down the stairs at the same time and sit in front of our pile and as my parents watched sipping their coffee and tea, open our gifts at the same time, There were 11 of us in a small family room, tripping over each other to see what Santa brought for us.

I always tried to keep my wish list reasonable after I found out that my parents were acting as Santa’s agents. I knew they had a lot of mouths to feed and they always did their best to provide us with nice Christmas gifts. But one year, the only thing I wanted cost $60.00. I was willing to forego all other gifts if I could just have this one thing.

You see, in 1982 I was 12 and I thought I was a budding comic book artist. The only piece of equipment I would need, to be the next Jack Kirby, was a Drawing Table. I knew that sixty bucks was lot of money at that time and I did not have high hopes because I also knew that I needed socks, gloves, a hat and probably a new pair of Tough Skins.

When I came down to the tree that Christmas Morning, I noticed that there were a few gift boxes with my name on them. I was a little saddened that there was no table waiting under the tree but I knew that it was a lot of money and understood that things were tight. I opened the few gifts (gloves and socks) that I received and I sat and watched everyone else open their much bigger piles. I guess I would have to wait to create the next Spiderman.

As I sat and listened to my brothers “Ooohing and Ahhing” over their gifts I heard my mother, not raising her voice or anything but just a normal tone, say “Bill.”

I turned to look at her (and I know this sounds totally cheesy, but I will never forget the smile on her face) she smiled and nodded her head towards the back wall. I followed her eyes. There it was, a giant box, leaning against the back door. I jumped up and ran over. I tried picking the box up but it was too heavy. I spun it around so I could look at the front picture. A drawing table.

I was ecstatic. I turned around and looked at my mom. She had a devilish grin on her face. I guess the table was not with my pile of gifts because it was so big. I also think that my mom wanted to see my reaction to actually getting the gift. With so many kids opening gifts at the same time I am sure it was difficult to see everyone. Or maybe she was just letting me sweat it out.

I never did become a great comic book artist. The only drawing I do now is MooneyAngelo stuff, but I kept that table until I was 27. It is still one of my favorite gifts. Ever.

27 comments:

kimmyk said...

what a great story!

lawnwhisperer said...

I am a tad bit dissapointed in the direction that the Poop and Boogies Blog has taken. You see, I am a huge fan of this blog, and find William to be a good and funny writer, but I see a strange pattern developing.

I am afraid that I must say, that I believe Bill is using this blog strictly as an ass-kissing platform. Some writers use their skills for political gain. Some take their talents and use them as a platform for certain views and opinions. Bill is using this website as a pure attempt to unseat Jimmy as the favorite son.

I may have to boycott the site. Bill, mom loves you whether you kiss her ass or not. It is called unconditional love. I operate under this very premise everyday. She has to love us, she is our mother. You my friend are an M B K-er. That's right, a Mother Butt Kisser.

Grace said...

Lawnwhisperer is just pissed because you've eased into second place leaving him dead last.

RazDreams said...

is crying a little at work acceptable? (super sweet story, btw!)

p.s. i think that lawnwhisperer is just jealous that he didn't get that awesome drawing table himself. ;)

Circus Kelli said...

Oh, LawnWhisperer is totally jealous...

Jewl said...

Cute story, my parents did the same exact thing when they knew I badly wanted something... I think they liked seeing me sweat it out too!! LOL

Charlotte in Pa said...

This is my favorite post of yours. Ever.

ieatcrayonz said...

Stop with the maple syrup nachos already. Your sappy cheesy story made me tear up at work, you hear me?!?!

Thank God the lawn whisperer saved the day from the watchful eyes of my male co-workers. You mother butt kisser.

So um, why did you ditch the table at 27?

Suzanne said...

I love your story. It actualy brought tears to my eyes I guess because I know what you are talking about even thought I only have one brother. It means so much to children to get what they want for christmas and it means so much for the parents to see the reactions on their kids faces. BUT I bet it meant a lot that you were thinking about them too :)

Stacie said...

That is an AWESOME story! Stacie

eclectic said...

Awwwww.... Lawnwhisperer, leave him alone. After having 9 babies, she deserves to have her ass kissed a little! But Bill? Why don't you have the table anymore?

Beth Fish said...

Great story. Proves that it isn't how much you get that matters.

SoozieQ said...

That's an awesome story/memory.

Thank you for sharing.

Susie said...

Great story, Bill! Clearly you were vying for favorite even then. Poor lawnwhisperer, was he always stuck with the heel of the loaf? He seems a little bitter ;)

Mainline Mom said...

Awesome story. I don't know how your parents did it.

Doug said...

William...

Sorry to post this in your 'comment' section but I couldn't find an email link.

My name is Doug. My wife and I adopted a daughter from China in 2002 and are currently paperchasing for #2. We live in North Carolina.

Just last week I launched an ambitious project called DadBloggers. I am looking for Dads who are active in their children's lives and who would be interested in being a regular contributor to a community blog about parenting from a male perspective. My vision for the site includes having enough writers so that each Dad would only have to submit an original entry of at least 300 words just once per month.

Visit http://www.dadbloggers.com and let me know if you would be interested in participating. If you know of other Dads that might be interested - even those who don't have a personal blog - please pass the website along to them.

Thanks much!

Doug

Amanda B. said...

That is one of my favorite stories. Ever. Thankyou.

MetroDad said...

As always, my friend. Another awesome post. I continue to remain fully in awe of your parents and family. I feel like I've got my hands full with just ONE kid. I can't even fathom having nine. Kudos to your folks. They must be truly special people.

All the best!

Seeker said...

So, are you the same William that does the MooneyAngelo blog? Witty stuff!

TiffaneyC said...

what a great story, except now my 3 yr old is saying," Don't be sad mommy, don't cry!!" It is so hard to explain joy vs sad!! I love your blog!

Minerva said...

That is gorgeous...and brought to mind the just wonderful smile that must have spread across your face every time you saw it...

So...what happened at 27 and how the hell do you remember how old you were when you got rid of stuff?!

As for lawnwhisperer, I was always favourite too, *grin*, just get over it...

Minerva

Ern said...

What a wonderful story.

Nico said...

Beautiful story. Honestly, BEAUTIFUL. And what great parents you have.

No_Newz said...

Best Christmas story ever! Way to go Mom! :)
Lois Lane

kalki said...

Awww, you just made this bah-humbugger tear up a bit, you did. Fortunately, lawnwhisperer's comment brought me back to my senses. SHEW - close one.

Sudiegirl said...

you rock...what a great story to share.

Thanks!

Sudiegirl

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