Friday, December 24, 2010

Chicken Bones Couldn't Sleep

Chicken Bones had brushed her teeth and washed her face. She had on her new pink flowered flannelette nightgown. Chicken Bones’ dad had read her a story and she was safely tucked into her bed. Chicken Bones’ mom was tidying up the living room. Chicken Bones knew her big sister Nancy would be climbing into her bed, on the other side of the room, very soon. Her biggest sister Thora would go to her own room next door a little after that. But Chicken Bones couldn’t sleep. It was Christmas Eve.
Chicken Bones thought about….
• the Sunday school pageant and wondered if she would ever get a leading role. (Chicken Bones was a fir tree again.)
• being born in a stable. She wondered if it was stinky and scratchy in there for that new little baby.
• frankincense. It was scary because it reminded her of Frankenstein.
• her dad struggling with bricks and a pail and the tree. Chicken Bones knew that she should sit very quietly on the turquoise couch while he worked. She knew that he would finally get it standing straight and then she could help decorate it.
• the presents hidden in her mom’s closet. She wished she hadn’t snuck in and looked at all of them already.
• how hard it was to wait.
• her great aunts in Montreal and Ottawa, and the gifts they sent from their travels all over the world. She knew she would get fancy new clothes from Holt Renfrew. She would also get unusual little items like PlayPlax blocks and scarecrow heads filled with even tinier treasures. She already knew this because the aunts wrapped their gifts with only ribbon and no tape, so it was easy to unwrap and rewrap without tell tale signs of snooping.
• being sneaky.
• her mom and dad’s Dutch friends, Paul and Toos. She was embarrassed that she already said “thank you for the chocolate letter” to them before she went to bed, when she hadn’t opened the letter yet. But she knew that’s what she would be getting because that’s what they gave her every year.
• ablekage. She loved it when her mom made this dessert for Christmas Eve because it made the night feel Danish.
• a road race set, a model town, an etch-a-sketch, a Cheerful Tearful doll, a Raggedy Ann and other stuff she asked Santa for.
• Santa. Chicken Bones worried that he might not fill her stocking if she didn’t get to sleep soon.
• Maurice and Dodie. She was glad that they always came out for Christmas Eve to have supper and open presents. Dodie always laughed lots, and Chicken Bones felt happy when she saw them holding hands.
• love.
• her foster sister Marlene and Marlene’s husband Jim. She wished they were there, too because they took such good care of her when she was a scrawny baby, and Jim gave her the special nickname, Chicken Bones.
• feeling small and cozy.
• ribbon candy, mixed nuts, sugar cookies and shortbread.
• pretending to act surprised in the morning.
• the empty glass and plate she would find on the kitchen counter…magical proof that Santa had been there.
• being excited and silly and full and tired and loved.

Good night.

Conni from Clandeboye
December 2010
Hard to wait.

©Conni Cartlidge, 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment