Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Agonizing Wait

Here's how the typical Christmas morning unfolded when I was a little girl. I'd wake up well before the sun even dreamed of rising and would roll over and nudge my older sister, my voice shaking with excitement. "Wake up. It's Christmas!"

She'd mumble something about it being too early and go back to sleep.

I'd wriggle out of bed and hug my flannel PJs close to my skin. A teenage sister couldn't dampen my Christmas spirit. I'd tiptoe out into the hall and find my older brother peeking out of his room.

We'd meet somewhere in the middle and glance toward the stairs. "We should try to go down there," he'd whisper.

I'd look at the black stairway then at my parents' bedroom door and chew on my lip. "I don't know. We'd get in big trouble if they found us."

He'd take a few daring steps down, only to return back to my side and plop down next to me on the top stair, where we'd follow the family tradition of waiting for Dad to get up and lead the procession downstairs.

Minute after agonizing minute, we'd stare at Mom and Dad's closed door, as if our eyeballs could open it by sheer willpower. Eventually my sister would wake up and join us, the excitement building as we speculated about what could be waiting under the tree.

Then the moment would arrive. The big door would open and my dad would emerge. But instead of walking straight to the stairs, he'd get a little grin on his face and say, "I need to take a shower first."

We'd all sigh and slump down while we waited for him to take the longest shower in recorded history. He'd open the bathroom door and then, as if to taunt us, would draw out his razor and do a thorough shave. Didn't he know Santa went with the beard look?

Finally, he'd meander down the hall and say, "Okay kids, you ready yet?" To which we'd all roll our eyes and say, "Daaaad!"

Then he'd lead us down the stairs and we'd open our presents and revel in the joy of Christmas.

So what does that nice little tradition have to do with my life as a writer? It taught me to wait...and wait...and wait. I'm pretty sure Dad didn't know how much patience he was developing in me.

Then again, maybe he did.

How do you handle the waiting that comes with your life as a writer? Who taught you the value of patience?

*Santa picture by Akarakingdoms /


Wendy Paine Miller said...

I'm still learning all about that value. ;) How funny your dad did that.

I love that he even took the time to shave.
~ Wendy

Gia Cooper said...

This post made me smile. Who taught me to wait? God. He has an uncanny way of throwing me on paths I don't want to be forcing me to navigate them. I don't have the patience for it. I get angry and rile and scream. But...I'm getting there. Slowly.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Wendy - I think he got pleasure out of torturing us. :) And yes, a man can't start Christmas morning without a shave.

Gia - Paths you don't want to be on...I've been there. Good thing God knows what He's doing 'cuz sometimes I wonder. :)

Julia M. Reffner said...

LOL, I remember waiting forever for my Dad. We weren't allowed to wake him up until 7:00 which I now realize was entirely reasonable...but seemed like an eternity. I enjoyed this post and the memories it brought back for me, Sarah. Thanks!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Julia - Ah yes, 7:00 is the new "sleeping in" when you have kids. I once read a quote that said, "An alarm clock is a device for people without small children." So true!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Oh yes...the christmas wait! I had a son who would get up at 4 or 5 every Christmas morning. It was torture for him. One year, when my son was in middle school, I borrowed a little singing Christmas tree that was motion sensitive. I put it at the bottom of the stairs. Sure enough, around 3 a.m., I hear this loud "Jingle Bells" start up and then a clunk, clunk, clunk down the stairs! I opened my bedroom door and there say my son at the bottom of the stairs, red in the face at being caught yet again. :)