Our oldest son, Tug, has achieved some magnificent accomplishments over the years. Through all of his schooling he was a straight A scholar and also student body president in college where he graduated at the top of his class. He managed this again when he got his master’s degree, in spite of working full time overseeing multiple rigs and raising a family. He’s a goal setter and hard worker, develop tubing for directional drilling and broke records for oil companies, but with that many braincells, like the rest of us, I’m sure he can’t quite fathom how he came from my loins. Tug was born much more grownup than me and just a tad on the serious side, and I’m pretty sure he’s often wondered if maybe the stork got turned around in a spring blizzard and dropped him into the arms of a woman who’s not quite right; she doesn’t even know which way is east.
One December when Tug was home from college, I’d written our Christmas letter and left it on my desk. The next morning, I found a revised version he’d done in humor form, good-naturedly torturing all the family including me. He wrote poetry as a youngster and I’m still amazed at his ability. He’s amazed I’ve managed to live this long and not get hit by a bus.
When he was 10 years old and in fourth grade, he wrote a poem he titled, “Wyoming.” His teacher called to say she felt the poem had been plagiarized due to the verses, “… But what is this land where clouds do roll, where the paintbrush fills the soul? Where the skies shine on me, except under that cottonwood tree. Where the jade twinkles in a rush, in grass of meadows so green and lush …”
I explained that I’d seen him writing at the kitchen table the night before while I stood at the stove pretending to know how to cook. She wasn’t convinced so he sat at her desk and wrote another poem, and only then did she relent. I wanted to backhand her, but really, knowing who his mother was, wouldn’t anyone question sophistication and poise? I kind of understood.
One December when he was 14, he penned the following poem, titled:
“The Christmas Meaning.”
“Young Jenny was in bed, tucked in and fast asleep,
With dreams of joy and presents, hers soon to keep.
With a kitten at her feet and warm blankets on top,
She dreamt happily as if Christmas would never stop.
Then all of a sudden, a thud rose from the roof,
Followed by others, like a galloping hoof.
Jenny fell back to sleep, tiredness trying to loom,
When suddenly someone was walking around in the living room.
With curiosity overcoming, Jenny felt her way to the sound,
When she suddenly hit a belt buckle, with a belly big and round.
The man erupted into laughter, with a ho-ho type of chuckle,
And his red suit shook from his white beard right down to his buckle.
Then he softly sat down and put Jenny on his knee,
And with a kindly old voice asked Jenny what she’d come to see?
She replied she’d heard a sound and went and found him there
The man told her he was Santa and he had brought her a teddy bear.
She said his whiskers tickled and wondered if she could ask him a question?
He laughed a little, said yes, and shifted his position.
Tell me all about it Santa, what is Christmas like, she asked.
Why it’s a loving, giving, receiving time and a religious holiday, though that is usually masked.
It has candy canes, presents, stockings and me,
Carols, Christ’s birth and a Christmas tree.
She smiled, yawned said she was tired, and gave old Santa a hug,
He kissed her forehead and tucked her in bed, making her cozy and snug.
Before she fell asleep, she asked Santa so kind,
To give the teddy bear to her parents, if you don’t mind.
For I’ve already found Christmas, presents I don’t need,
Santa nodded and closed her door, her Christmas was love not greed.
A tear came to his eye, her love in his mind,
For when little Jenny was born, she was born blind.”
I’m tremendously grateful for the blessings from Jesus in gifting me with Gar, my offspring, grafted-in-daughters, grandbabies, friends and all who endure me. May this be the merriest Christmas ever and in the words of Tiny Tim, “God bless us everyone.”
Trena Eiden [email protected]