Christmas is ten days away. I’ve been purchasing things for several months, sneaking them into my master bedroom closet and tucking them onto the top shelf. I keep the receipts in an unassuming envelope in the kitchen and occasionally glance at them totaling up the amounts in my head. As most moms know, it’s important to keep things equal and fair when you have two or more children, especially if you have two.
I am one of the lucky ones; well I think I’m lucky. One of each gender, daughter first-born and a boy five years later. It’s been fun having one of each; a totally different experience all around. I was a feminist early on and made sure Michelle had fairy tales with strong, competitive heroines. But she also loved dolls and frilly clothes and a large wooden dollhouse that Santa brought one Christmas. I spent more time designing, wallpapering and decorating that house than I did on my current home. Mike by age two was all-boy. He had more riding toys than we could count and a hat for every make-believe occasion from astronaut to cowboy. Michelle never slept as an infant; we had to poke Michael with a finger every hour or so to make sure he was breathing. But by eighteen months, Mike had easily overtaken Michelle’s level of energy. We swore he never stopped moving from the moment he woke up til the minute he fell asleep after a nightly battle at bedtime.
At Christmas, I counted presents and added up dollars. One Christmas Eve after Santa came, my count came up one present short for Michelle. I was frantic. Was there a drugstore or grocery store open? I had to at least get a coloring book or a yo yo – anything to make it even. Whew! That was a close one.
So yesterday when I laid it all out on the bed, I came up one present and $25.00 short on Mike’s end. I still have ten days. I‘ll be fine. In fact this morning I noticed my on-line savings coupon had Coyotes tickets for $18.00 each. If I buy two he can take a friend. Hmm. That will be $36.00; now I’m $10.00 short for Michelle. Better run to Sephora.
Oh, did I mention they are both in their 30’s? I guess we never stop being moms!
Last night as I brushed my teeth, my five- year- old cat, Hermione crouched on the floor a few foot down the counter from my sink. She likes to hop onto the counter where I fill the second sink with cold water for her once a day. It’s a nightly ritual and a special bonding moment for us I suppose. But last night I watched her crouch, then relax, crouch again, eyeing the top of the counter each time, yet hesitant to make her move. I stopped brushing and with foamy mouth asked, What’s wrong, Herm? You ok? Suddenly she leaped and missed the edge by an inch or two, landing on her feet; she made a second attempt and missed by less than an inch. Now I was convinced something was wrong. I wiped my mouth with the hand towel and went over to her, carefully feeling each paw, her neck and tummy. Growing impatient with me, she pushed aside my hand and took a successful leap onto the counter. It was then I noticed the extra bulge of fat around her middle; her white tummy protruding with extra weight. This morning we had a long talk as I filled her bowl with cat food. Herm, I said, you’re going on the Jenny Craig cat diet as of today. Get ready, girl. It’s going to be painful.