Friday, December 12, 2003

What I Want For Christmas 

It's fantasy to think I might get any of these gifts, but, of course, it's about giving rather than getting. I just have a couple of simple desires that I'd like to get off my mind. A bottle of Opium perfume, the book "Safely Home", and a trip to the salon for foiling--expensive, but I like the effect to lift my spirits during the winter doldrums. Not a long list, but a good one.

Christmas Thoughts 

Watching candle's shining flame,
Bouncing and glowing
Like the light of the guiding star,
Showing the travelers to the new king

Hearing tunes of the season
On the radio
And recounting angels in the story
Singing hosannas to the newborn child

Amidst the hustle and bustle
Of holiday shoppers
Feeling eager like the shepherds
To get to see the blessed baby

The smell of the pine tree
Hangs in the air
Reminding me of perfumes and gifts
Given to the child by kings from afar

Exchanging gifts and cards
With family and friends
Showing love for one another
And celebrating the greatest love of all

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Toddler Talk 

Kids really do say the darndest things! My littlest, who is approaching three, asked to bring his plastic sword on the car ride to Grandpa's house. I said OK, which probably wasn't what he expected, and he carried his sword to the car, pleased with himself and me. When we got to Grandpa's house, he surprised me by saying, "Mommy made me bring it", referring to the sword. How quickly they learn to twist and use the language.

My sister was recounting today how her toddler told her "I cry for you, Mommy" when she picked him up from daycare. She thinks he was trying to tell her he had cried at the daycare because he missed her. Toddlers really know how to tug at your heartstrings, don't they?

I sometimes sit and listen to my little one talk when he doesn't realize I'm listening. He is so imaginative. He knows how to count better than I thought. He says things I wouldn't have expected. It's really a good way to get to know him.

I think I'll go home now and try it again so I have more "cute things kids say" to write about another day.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Philippines 1999--Entry #2 

The ride to the airport to catch our plane to Cagayan was the first opportunity I had to see Manila by daylight. My father-in-law was excitedly pointing out the window, showing my son the river as we crossed the bridge. He was convinced it was attractive, but I was not. There was debris floating in the greenish-brown water, and there were makeshift homes along the banks. I saw a small child, dirty from head to toe, wearing only a ratty T-shirt--no underwear. And many stray dogs were moving about in this area as well. It looked like a scene from a Christian Children's Fund advertisement.

We got to the airport with ample time and got in line to purchase tickets. It's unusual to think of getting in line to purchase your tickets. The tickets didn't cost us more because we purchased them on the day of travel. It's odd to think they would be able to maintain flight service not knowing roughly how many passengers will be on each flight in advance, but they seem to do just fine.

Our son was getting restless standing in line. My father-in-law took him for a walk and to go and buy snacks and juice. They came back with an assortment of goodies--buns and rolls. I have no problem trying foods that are new to me, and I was particularly hungry, so what we had tasted delicious.

Did I happen to mention how hot it was? Can you recall a time when you were sweating profusely? Even just standing still? The temperatures were in the 90s Fahrenheit and the humidity was at or around 100 percent. It was not uncommon for people to take multiple showers in a day. If changing clothes to go out at night, shower first. If coming back from an excursion, take a shower. It was the only way to feel comfortable. Our son got a prickly heat rash on his neck, upper chest, and back. We used powder to try to keep his skin dry, but it was no use.

The flight to Cagayan was uneventful. To look down from the plane and see where we were landing, I could tell we had left the hustle and bustle of Manila behind and were welcomed to the small-town atmosphere of Cagayan. It was visually welcoming--open space, with lots of lush, green tropical plants. It was also welcoming in another quite wonderful way--my mother-in-law's family was there to greet us. The airport was much smaller than the one at Manila. When our bags came off the plane, the relatives there to greet us took them to the vehicles for us. They were very hospitable right from the start.

To be continued...

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