Wishes on Stars ALWAYS come true for me

wish-upon-a-starI know a lot of people don’t believe in wishing on stars, people are hopeful, they want to believe but it usually doesn’t work out for them. I have wished twice upon a star. Both times they have come true. That is a 100% wish successful rate. So one would think that if you wished on a star for everything you want, you would be filled with bountiful wishes right? I don’t think it works that way. I think you have to respect the star and respect the wish.

My first wish is turning 17 tomorrow.

17!

My second wish turns 15 in two weeks.

15!

I am thankful my wishes came true in separate pay periods, that was just smart planning on my part. This weekend’s events have me thinking about my birthdays as a teen. I cannot remember my 17th birthday nor do I remember my 15th birthday. Odd. I usually have a very vivid memory of my past. What I do remember are not major events but incidental moments that make up my childhood.

My dad married the girl next door, down the street and around the corner when he was a kid. After 46 years of happily-ish married bliss (lets be honest, 46 years is a long time to be happy every stinking day. It doesn’t happen like that. But my parents ARE great friends and still do TONS of stuff together. Luckily they don’t play old people sports like bridge, lawn bowling or canasta. There is still time for that though…) When I came a long, we lived within walking distance of both my grandparents homes. I was one of those lucky kids who had 2 grandmas, 2 grandpas and a great grandma and a great grandpa. Most of my friends only had one or two, I had the collectors set.

I remember Sunday dinners, sleep-overs, craft days, stages productions, Barbie bliss and general good times at both homes. Eventually we moved away to the Arctic (I know, insert pity party here —>     ) and what I remember most was missing my grandparents. When we moved home, my brother and I were placed on an Airplane and met in Edmonton by my Grandfather. I remember the sense of relief at the age of 6 to be met by that hug. They took me home to their house and the fun times resumed. But I missed my other Grandparents terribly. When I eventually saw them, more fun times ensued.

When we moved back to Edmonton for good (I know…but it is PARADISE compared to the Arctic) I lived a bike ride away from my Grandma. Believe it or not, I was the opinionated kid of the family and often disagreed with the way my parents bestowed RULES upon me. Injustice raged through my veins so I always called my Grandma – she loved me and she would rescue me.

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I would ask if I could sleep over. The answer was always yes. The green chip bowl was always ready with Old Dutch BBQ and Carol Burnett was always brought to you by Kraft. When I wished upon the star many years later, that was part of my wish. For my wish to have the same relationship with their grandparents as  I had with my grandparents.

It mostly came true. The grandparents were only on my side, but they came with extras. One great grandma each and a great grandpa who was EXACTLY like Carl from UP.

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My grandpa and my son

 

I moved down the street and around the corner so my wishes could visit and run away every chance they got. One wish goes there after school every thursday to hang out. One stops by for milkshakes on a regular basis. There was a suitcase packed and one ran away to grandma once, and many movie and sleepover nights were held. The grandchildren even had their OWN bedroom at Grandma’s house.

So now that my first wish is 17 tomorrow, I asked him how he wanted to spend his birthday. The reply was, “Dinner at (favorite restaurant) and invite Grandma and Grandpa.” No family or friend party? No cake or donuts?

“No, just a really good steak and grandma and grandpa.”

I am living proof that wishes come true. Sure I augmented it by moving close to my parents but what kind of mom would I be if I didn’t at least try to provide the circumstances that enhanced my childhood?

Happy Birthday Wish #1 xoxoxox

My Traditions of Christmas

An ornament depicting a snowman, adorning a Ch...
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I woke up to the smell of burnt toast. Either I am having a stroke or someone left the bread in to long. I roll over to check the time… 8:30 AM. According to my standards, that is not sleeping in but that is all I can muster until the stresses leave my head. Two more days, maybe three. The stress of life, work, school, friends and family weigh heavy on me. It is like I am the mom of everything. I have to admit, it is easier this year. I have simplified, used honesty in a way that leaves nothing for assumptions to be misconstrued. I don’t have all my ducks in a row yet, but that is coming. Things are better than I had hoped for but not quite as fabulous as I wished for.

I finish reading Room by Emma Donoghue. It was compelling. All from the perspective of a 5 year old. As an educator of preschoolers, it made me think about them from an interesting perspective. But now it’s done and I need more books. I have a huge list for download, but I need to wait until after Christmas.

I roll out of bed because my tummy is rumbling. I ignore it to hop into the shower and indulge in the fancy soaps. It is Christmas Eve and the family festivities begin tonight.

As a kid I remember driving down from Yellowknife with dad trying to keep the Blizzard on our tail. We planned to sleep in Peace River, but Mom was worried we would be stuck there for Christmas Morning. So we kept moving. My brother (4) and I (6) were dressed in our jammies for the very long drive to Edmonton. We were armed with pillows, blankets and teddies. I remember the dark, but that is nothing new I lived in the Arctic. It was always dark, not really knowing the time by the light of the sun unless it was noon. Looking out the window as we drove, I saw swirling snow and dark. These were the days before electronics in the car. Mom couldn’t read to us because a flashlight would bother dad.  So we slept.

When we woke up it was still dark. But I remembered Granny’s house! It was just like I remembered from a 100 years ago or summertime, both were a long way away. Mom tried the side door, Grandpa left it open for us. We snuck in quietly, but not quietly enough I guess. In the living room we turned on the Christmas lights, placed gifts under the tree and waited. Granny came into the living room and there we were under the tree for her Christmas present. Her face was happy and so was mom’s. Somehow we went back to sleep to wait for Christmas Eve to come.

I reflect on traditions of my past and tried to incorporate the ones I loved into my Christmas present. Christmas Eve dinner use to be Chinese food out, but now it is at my brother’s house. I like that better. Opening one gift on Christmas Eve use to mean lunch with my dad’s parents and my beloved Gram, but that changed too. Now my kids get to open their gift from their brother who lives in Australia. They like that better. Opening stockings first, while dad had breakfast. We still open stockings first, while mom (me) makes her coffee. I like that better. Then opening gifts, one at a time to stretch out Christmas and share in what each other received. I liked that best and so does my son. The same tradition continues. Dinner no longer is at my Granny’s, it moved to my mom’s and now my sister and I take turns. I like it better at her house and she likes it better at mine.

The feeling is the same. Warm and comfortable, wishing others could join us but knowing they are far away and can’t. Memories of them will have to do.

As I look out my kitchen window to the small snow piles and warm air outside, I am thankful the weather is nicer than last year. I think about Christmas at Walt Disney World and loved swimming outside on New Years Eve. I love the dark at Christmas. It makes the lights shine and the ice sparkle. For the first time in years I found the Christmas Spirit. I realize I am not the old me, but the new and improved me. The Edmonton Tourist Tradition continues…

Merry Christmas to all my friends and family who celebrate, and best wishes for all of you who don’t.

Love The Edmonton Tourist aka Robyn