On the day before Christmas, the excitement was mounting, but as usual, there was still some work to be done. Cookies to be baked, lest Santa go hungry. Desserts to be prepared, lest guests not eat until they want to puke. And of course, making sure all of the presents were in the right places. We still had to buy something small for our friends who were joining for dinner. We’ve become like international foster parents, taking in everybody without a family on holidays. We did it last year in Taiwan, too. Cooking for ten people with my tiny oven was a bit more of a challenge, but everybody managed to get plenty to eat, I think. The point is, there was work to do. But nothing too stressful.
Emily wanted to go to the Fun Factory and play some video games. We walked over there and started to play, but I could tell she was already feeling listless. In my mind, I am the type of person who tries to not ever inconvenience anyone and always go along with things, even if I’m not feeling well. This may be entirely in my head. I may, in fact, be difficult, in other people’s perception. I have no idea. But I forget that 11-year-olds, by the very nature of their developmental capabilities, are inherently prone to being difficult and needy when ill. So even though she had asked to go to the arcade, she very soon wanted to go back home, and the walk was probably going to kill her. When we had to stop in to the craft store on the way, suddenly she developed new symptoms which made it difficult for her to breathe. And don’t you dare try to laugh and have fun because your mean-spiritedness will probably cause here to fall into a coma right there on the sidewalk.
We got her stepmom to call in a prescription for a z-pack for her, put her to bed, and headed to Safeway to buy groceries for lunch and dinner and pick up her prescription. The medicine cost sixty bucks without insurance. No wonder we have such a high rate of poverty in this country. But that’s a rant for another day.
After some rest, and being loaded up with various medications, Emily seemed to be in a much better mood. She and Geoff played video games and Uno while I baked a cake, fixed dinner, and then made cookies. She wrote a letter to Santa, asking to be a witch and receive her Hogwarts textbooks and a wand. If she would have told me she wanted this before 6:30 pm on Christmas Eve, I might have been able to do something about it. Geoff made her an Olivander’s certificate for a free wand and stained it with tea to make it look old. His creativity saves the day on many occasions.
Emily voluntarily went to bed at 9:00 pm. I was definitely ready for a break from the whining and hopeful that she would feel better tomorrow so that she could enjoy Christmas and not act like a lunatic in front of Geoff’s friends. Drama. Always drama. If you say your family doesn’t have it, you’re probably lying.