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The Square

We have a “Black Friday” tradition in our family. It includes 5 things.

  1. Sleeping late
  2. Being lazy throughout the day
  3. Going out to eat Chinese food at our favorite Chinese restaurant in the evening
  4. Going downtown to the square of my hometown (we spend Thanksgiving at my hometown) and looking at the lights after the crowds from the lighting celebration are gone
  5. Have Little Bear and Baby Bear visit Santa.  If we are prepared enough, they also mail their letters to Santa.

This year was a little different than the last few years. 

I did sleep late.  But when I got up, instead of staying in a fog of lethargy, I woke up ready to interact with my family and have fun.  I had a long discussion with Baby Bear about topics near and dear to her heart at this point in her life.  We worked on Christmas lists and wrote a letter to Santa.  I went in and danced with Little Bear as she listened to music on the computer and showed me new music videos that she had found.  I got her busy writing her letter to Santa.  Later in the day Little Bear came out and asked me if I recognized a song that was playing – she knew I would as it is one of my favorite.  She asked me if we could dance “the square step” – the basic box step of ballroom dancing, which then moved into doing a jazz square which we had fun doing, since I was able to keep up with her for longer than 45 seconds. 

We went out to dinner and I found myself drawn to the veggies and fruit rather than the egg rolls and rangoons.  After dinner we parked a couple of blocks away from the square and walked over.  I kept up with my family and was able to keep up my end of conversations!  The line for Santa was still too long, so we looked around shops and then went back to visit the Jolly Old Elf. Once again, the picture with him made me cry.  I never thought that I would be blessed enough to have a child who would whisper secrets to him.  Now I have 2.  Then we headed outside to admire the lights.  We started walking around.  The girls were having fun mugging for the camera that I carried.  They dragged me to place after place where they thought was a good setting for pictures.  I kept up with my family once again.  I window shopped.  I giggled with my mom and the girls.  All too soon the evening was over and we were heading home. 

On the ride home I realized I did not have one leg cramp, I did not get out of breath, I did not feel like I needed to sit down and let the rest of the family go on.  I was an active participant in my family.  I saw the joy in the girls’ eyes when I did not say “later”.  I saw their eagerness to be with me and have me see what they were doing.  The lights were beautiful on the trees – but they were dim in comparison to the sparkle and glow in the huge brown eyes of my children as they got the gift of their mom back.


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