With Mrs. Claus back to work and the hectic holiday visits over today I got the task of the post-Christmas clean-up. What that usually means is relocating gifts to back under the tree, polishing off the remaining food and desserts from Christmas Eve, and vacuuming up dog hair along with small parts from toys. All this while my boys try and conquer the planet in Halo 4, my older daughter sleeps in, and my little one has a tea party with her friend. And this as my dog stares at me wondering when I will take her outside and play sticks.
But, as I clean up I found some things that were interesting and made me smile. While the older teenagers are in worlds of their own (which is normal development they tell me) my youngest daughter is enjoying her time of life balanced between herself, her friends, and her parents. And boy do I love being the beneficiary of a young daughters love. My older kids lists were full of xBox games, iPods, make-up and gift card and some good old money requests - but my youngest made my holiday just by her wish list, and then gift alone.
One page one of her list was a mix of assorted names and part numbers from the American Girl catalog. It took me awhile to cross reference the numbers and then figure out who I gave which number too in order for them to get her something that she wanted. Luckily in the end there were no duplicates. But on page two was the best request I could get from one of the kids-
" Dad can you take (me) on the boat. and te(a)ch me how to tay a fly".
It almost brings a tear to my eye as I picture her sitting there writing it out.
I did good on some other gifts this Christmas as well. 10 pairs of non-white underwear are always a welcome sight under the tree, a book on fly tying, an old, 1927, edition of Outdoor America, a box of chocolate pretzels and an Orvis gift card.
But again my youngest got me with her can't-wait-till-tomorrow- Christmas Eve gift. It was paper weight that read - "My dad rocks". And inside were magical words from someone who loves me as much as life itself. It read,
"Dad I love you so much you did so much for us. I love what you do for us. Happy Christmas to You"
I have to say my boys got me pretty good, and made me laugh a little too. My boys aren't fisherman, or boaters for that matter. But they came up with the idea to make some coupon books. The ones we never cash in, but this year I will. In both of the books there is a coupon for fishing and boating. Great, I will have my boys out to fish one day, and boat another. However, if you read the fine print there are some stipulations in the coupons. One son put an expiration date on my boating coupon for May 2013, and the other put that my fishing coupon had to be used in conjunction with my boating coupon. Gotta love those kids.......they are the best.