Tag Archives: Dobby

Sugar plums and choke holds

Mythankfulboy and I seemed to have an easier routine this evening, even though it was no different than any other Wednesday.  So, we settled down in his room to do the chalice lighting, this time to the music of a Christmas music box shaped like the old-time tv of  my youth, showing a sparkly winter scene with ice skaters and a train that circles in and out of a tunnel.  Dobby the Christmas elf was peacefully seated beside the tv, enjoying the music, too (he had a rough evening – the dog got hold of him as he was traversing the living room to get to the peaceful perch by the music box, but he’s okay).  B said he was thankful for his music box, for Dobby, for his fan, and for Crossfit.  I said I was thankful that people are not letting go of the deaths of two unarmed black men (one really a boy) at the hands of the police that were justified somehow by internal investigations.  That maybe people will keep standing up and being heard about this.  That it cannot keep happening, though it’s been happening so long.  B said “You’re right.  I’m mad about it.”

I know mythankfulboy is too young and white to understand yet, but this is the world that he lives in, and he needs to understand it so that he is ready to change it.   As UU’s, our first tennet is “The inherent worth and dignity of every person”.  Forget the other principles about peace and justice and compassion and the democratic process.  Worth and dignity are where the rubber meets the road.  So, tonight I am thankful that there is public protest against violence against black men and boys at the hands of the police, and public discussion that black lives matter.  As mythankfulboy and I curl up safe in our beds with the music box painting visions of sugar plums in our heads, this disparity is not lost on me.

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Posted by on December 4, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Christmas magic

A quiet Thanksgiving was had with J & M & S.  Snow almost kept us from going, but we woke on Thanksgiving morning and found our way out of town.  M was sick, and J was getting sick, so we chilled for the most part, but J did his usual, fabulous smoked thing with the turkey.  We returned home in time for Crossfit (really?!), and the next day did our annual tree shopping with our friends J and V.  The snow on the ground, and the love of our friends, made it picture perfect.  The tree came in the house and B headed off to his dad’s for the night and the following day.  When I went to bed late that night I had a moment of complete magic – Dobby, the Christmas elf passed down from my mom’s tree when I was a little girl, was propped up on my side table.  Our tradition is that he arrives the night of the tree.  I had no idea that B even knew where to find him in the Christmas things.  But when I saw Dobby beside my bed, my first thought was not that B had put him there, but that he had arrived on his own.  What a wonderful gift – Christmas magic.  What a sweet boy.

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Posted by on December 2, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Goodbye Dobby

Ugh. Bad momma night last night. All evening, pressure was building around the house. B and I seemed to be on one another’s last nerve, he with yoyo tricks and me with tree decor. Finally, as I turned away from the tree and was telling B to go to his room if he wanted to listen to the 100th yoyo trick video of the day for the 10th time, I dropped and shattered a favorite ornament. I replay the mirrored snowflake falling from my hand in slow motion, and hear my southern accent so pronounced when I say “Sheeeeeiiiiiiiiiiiit!” as it hit the tile floor.

B went to his room, shut the door, and stayed for ten or fifteen minutes, after which he came out, head hung low, and said “I’m sorry.” I pulled him to me and said “I’m sorry, too.” We stood for a moment, looking at the tree blazing with 3100 white lights. I said “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” “It is”, he answered.

We slowed down for the evening, and got ready for bed and the chalice lighting. When asked for what he was thankful, he said “cold arms” (reference to his mild obsession with my triceps when they’re cold). I was thankful for Christmas music. We talked for a while, and before long we were back to the worry he has had this whole Christmas season over whether or not his Christmas elf, Dobby, is real. When Dobby first appeared this year, B was so happy, telling Dobby all about his yoyos and other things he might have missed during the year. But soon he began to worry he was being foolish. He asked Dobby to move to particular places, or to move during the day instead of just at night. He asked more than once if I was moving Dobby at night. I could see in his eyes he didn’t believe me, and I have a very hard time lying to him, even in the service of magic. It was causing both of us anxiety.

So I moved Dobby one last time and put him in the tree with a note that read:

Dear B,
Magic is a hard thing to believe in as you get older, but magic is a necessary part of being a Christmas elf! I know you want to believe in me, but I also know that, deep down inside, you are afraid of being fooled. Remember this always – it is never foolish to have faith in love, and love is the magic of Christmas.
You have been asking if I move at night on my own, or if your mom moves me. Making magic happen is just one of the many ways that moms and dads show their love, and they take it very seriously, especially at Christmas. And it’s not just them – whenever someone like you is ready, he or she is invited to become a magic maker. Are you ready? If you are, keep your eyes, ears, and heart open to the love the glows around you at Christmas. Enjoy yourself so everyone can see, and keep the magic of Santa and Christmas elves like me alive by never telling a believer that we don’t exist – we exist as long as they believe.
I will remember you always. Dobby

And so, a new chapter.

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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


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I have an obsessive, um, tendency, shall we say, when it comes to the lights on my Christmas tree. I wrap every branch individually with lights, starting at the trunk, following a branch out and then up and back each offshoot, then back down the branch to the trunk to the next branch. Needless to say, this takes a lot of time and a lot of lights. B tried to help this year, but was quickly frustrated (I tried telling him it was a job skill he could market for decorating famous trees like the official White House tree, but he wasn’t buying it). So, instead, he’s been sitting in a cozy chair next to the tree, feeding me the string of lights as I wrap branches. We have Christmas music going on the stereo, and snacks handy. So far it’s been three evenings, about 6 hours, and 1700 lights. One more night should do it. Luckily we’ll then have garland and ornaments to tackle, because this evening “work” has made me so happy!

At the evening chalice lighting, B was thankful again for Dobby, the Christmas Elf. I was thankful for lights.

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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Saturday we did the annual cutting-of-the-tree, this year accompanied by our friends J&V. They made everything better: the search for the perfect tree, the snow flakes that started while we searched, the struggle to get the tree secured on the car, and the warranted anxiety that it might fly off at any point on the way home (hence the multiple stops to make sure it was, indeed, still there)! As my friend K says, unearned blessings.

Yesterday the tree actually made it into the house, with the furniture reconfigured to accommodate it. B’s snowing Santa music box was set up, and a new wooden spinning candle holder (the kind that spins when the heat from the candles turns the blades at the top) was, too. Dobby, the house elf, arrived, snug in the folds at the top of the living room curtains, but B never saw him! Tonight – lights on the tree, and when I say lights, I’m not playin.

Last night, at the chalice lighting, with all the wonderful Christmas things going on, B was inexplicably thankful for elephants. I didn’t ask. I was thankful for helpful boys who assist their mommas is getting things out for the holidays. He elicited a promise from me that the lights would go on the tree today so that Dobby could come (I think he forgot the house elf rule that he comes when the tree is up, lights or no lights!) And privately, I was so very grateful for one more year of belief.

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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


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