Another "Holiday Season" has come and gone. And this past Christmas truly was, in the immortal words of my favorite carol crooner, Donnie Hathaway - a very special Christmas, indeed. My sister flew in on Christmas Eve. We haven't celebrated a major holiday as a family in years. Between her living out West and our military lifestyle keeping us overseas for so long, special holiday gatherings together have been far and in between. Something magical happens when my sister, brother, and I are all together. Besides driving our mother batty with our dry humor, wit, and pun-tastic good times, there is a sense of completeness. Like the feeling of filling a whole in your heart you don't realize is empty.
The only flaw in an otherwise perfect holiday was the disappointment that was supposed to be Isaiah's Big Gift from Santa. It was a Rody Max riding horse, the bigger one, on recommendations from other moms of kids with Special Powers like Isaiah's. It's supposed to promote strength, coordination, and balance. I ordered it in early December in plenty of time for it to get here. Once it arrived UPS, I stowed the box way back in his closet in anticipation of its grand inflation and presentation. What kid's face wouldn't light up at the sight of a pony under the tree on Christmas morning?!
On the morning of Christmas Eve, while all the kidlets were still asleep, I recovered the brown box and headed down to the basement for J to blow it up and find a place for it until the morning. He got on task while I went to work elfing the other loot.
And then he uttered the LAST words you want to hear on Christmas Eve:
Is this for Zay? This is too small for Zay.
Since the Rody is tauted as being able to "grow with your child", I asked him if he had blown it up all the way. But it didn't matter. I knew in that moment, looking over at that horse - a shoo-in for Thumbalina's rodeo - we had been delivered the WRONG pony. One look on the box confirmed my worst suspicions: it was in fact, the original Rody and not the Rody Max which, by the way, costs more than twice the original.
Waiting for their West Coast office to open was nothing short of torture. These things are made in Italy...available for purchase only online as far as I know. And it was Christmas Eve. When I finally got someone on the line, she was very sympathetic. One look at the shipping invoice and their mistake was obvious: the shipping weight in no way matched what should have been in that box, she explained. The Max is considerably heavier (and did I mention twice as expensive?)
She promised they would make it right and get the right philly out the gate and to us the next week. Little consolation on Christmas Eve considering everything was centered around Zay's shiny, new, red pony. I beat myself up for about 10 minutes. Why didn't I check the box carefully when it arrived? Isaiah deserves a big shiny Christmas just like any other kid. Just because he can't distinguish Christmas from any other day of the year doesn't mean he deserves it any less.
And then it hit me, Isaiah is a very blessed little boy. During this Christmas Season, I have been touched by the kindness and generosity of people we know and complete strangers alike. In addition to material things he has received, Isaiah is surrounded by love...every day of the year. And this Christmas he had aunties, an uncle, a granny, cousins, sisters, and parents doting on him. That is worth more than the odds-on winner of the Kentucky Derby whinnying under the tree on Christmas morning.
The Holidays are over, but my Christmas tree is still up. And it will stay up until Rody Max in Red finds his way home to my very special boy.