Rachel came home yesterday with strict instructions to write a letter to Father Christmas and take it back to school with her today. She decorated the whole thing with fairy stickers, did her special kind of scribbling and then instructed me to write and ask him for a…PINK PUPPY.
Errrr, okay then. A puppy is quite a commitment and we’re still getting our head around having two children, let alone a pet. Also, finding a pink one may be a tad tricky.
After further questioning it turns out that she wants a toy puppy just like her friend Aimee has, that apparently walks and talks and wags its tail. Cue some frantic messaging to Aimee’s Mum to try and locate the source of this pink puppy.
This is the first Christmas that there have been any kind of special requests like these. The three times before we just gave her some plastic cups and a few books. But now I’ve become one of THOSE parents, racing around the shops trying to find something very particular. I’ll let you know how I go.
Anyway, Rachel’s request to Father Christmas got me thinking about what I’d like for Christmas. I’m lucky, I pretty much have all the essential things already: shelter, food, a way of earning a living. In fact I’m not just lucky, I’m completely blessed.
So why lately, do I not feel all burtsy with happiness? I think it’s because the world has been a terrible terrible place this year. In our country alone we’ve had all kinds of atrocities, not to mention the wider world. Sometimes it just feels like we’re spinning around faster and faster, descending into chaos – and as I said, I’m one of the lucky ones.
So for Christmas this year, forget the material things. I’ve decided that all I want is to be a child again. To go to birthday parties, not funerals. To wear my pink sparkly party dress and not the black one that screams sadness. To focus on those few things that make me happy, not all the things the world convinces me I need.
To lie under an open sky, staring up into its vastness. To hug the people I love close to me. To eat jelly and custard, not spinach. To feel triumphant when I put the last piece in a puzzle. Or smile with delight when I clutch on to the rattle I’m reaching for.
I suppose that part of the privilege of having children is that they DO make you believe in the beautiful again. They do give you hope. They are a constant source of comfort when the world seems so dark. They are my “pink puppy” in all of this – the ultimate gift.