Joel was absent from supper all last week (he was home in the mornings instead. Two days I left Geneva with him, dropped Eleanor off at preschool, and then wandered through Indigo, drinking a seasonal beverage and talking myself out of buying these shot glasses that were shaped like tiny copper mugs JUST THE RIGHT SIZE FOR A LARGE DOLL OR SMALL CHILD but omg they were $10 each). He was home last night, so I roasted a chicken. You gotta capitalize, feed your babies some protein.
Afterwards, I'm denuding the carcass and pull out the wishbone, so I call Eleanor over and explain wishbones to her. 'I wish for a present,' she says. We pull the wishbone and it snaps and she gets the top bit. 'I wonder when I will get my present!' Well, Christmas is coming, and so is your birthday, so probably then.
The next day (today), we stopped by the post office on the way home to pick up a package. We ALMOST didn't stop, Geneva was crying and it was already past noon and everyone was hungry, but I just couldn't wrap my head around getting everyone back into their gear after naps and walking back down, and we were already out. Literally the only good thing about being away from family during the holidays is receiving giant boxes full of gifts.
We hauled it home and everyone had lunch and a nap and then Eleanor and I opened the box to put the presents under the tree. To Eleanor's great delight, one of them was labelled Open me NOW. 'It's my present!' Eleanor says. 'My wish came TRUE.'
It's a Christmas pickle from my sister. Eleanor screamed with laughter. A Christmas pickle.
We've been talking about Santa, whether he's real, whether he really brings presents. I love whimsy and wonder but I am deeply uncomfortable with lying to my children. I feel the same way about wishing, and I dread the day she realizes that wishes don't all come true. The Disappointment of Eleanor is my worst nightmare (don't talk to me about the time she was at the mall with her dad, and they saw a princess headed towards her car and they couldn't get to her in time to say hi). But this was so magical and such perfect timing. She has years ahead of her to learn that winning the wishbone won't always land you a Christmas pickle, so I'mma let this one ride.