It’s the first Saturday of 2014, and I wonder if this New Year will be any different?
Like last year, our little rabbits came home for the holidays, and MiLady commented that the boys haven’t stopped growing! (Junior 22yo stands over 6feet, while Captain 20 and Chef 17 are not too far behind him!).
On Christmas Eve, my girl and I curled up on the loveseat and wondered why the kids left home so soon. No answers came to mind, but when it drew late, we went off to bed.
It was Christmas morning, around ten o’clock, when we woke and checked upon our little warren. All were sleep.
“Santa came, don’t they care?” I asked quietly, feeling a little saddened by their lack of enthusiasm.
“It’s MY turn to wake them,” was what I heard.
One by one, MiLady went to the foot of each bed, where she sat on her knees and began to bounce up and down.
“SANTA CAME!” broke the stillness in the air. The shrill excitement rivalled the screeching “Call of the Wild” that I was far too familiar with.
“SANTA CAME!” MiLady continued. “(Insert name of child here), WAKE UP! WAKE UP! SANTA CAME!”
To each bed she went and repeated her performance; of which her captive audience responded all in kind with a half-asleep grunt.
Climbing down from the last bed, MiLady looked at me.
“I told you, my way would’ve been better,” I said. “Super Soakers at five paces and they’d have been awake and washed for breakfast!”
All three lads sat up, wide-eyed. Childhood memories of growing up with a single dad, serving in uniform, vividly etched in their minds.
“I’m up, I’m up!” mumbled Junior with his long arms outstretched.
“NO! NOT THAT!” cried Chef
Captain had already scrambled into his jeans and was struggling with socks when he answered devilishly, “Not this year, sorry!”
Gathering around the tree, everyone took their Christmas stocking and waited for MiLady to figure out my digital camera.
Eventually, she got it. (If it was a video camera, she would have had it mastered in no time.).
As the majority of our children are between the ages of 20 and 30, buying presents is NOT easy. So, we bought gift cards.
Gift cards, although many believe is not a very good or meaningful present, I beg to differ. The children were overjoyed, they could use their cards to purchase anything they needed, or in the most typical case, whatever they wanted at that moment in time.
It was during Christmas dinner, when we (re)discovered the answer to our Christmas Eve question, as to why the kids left home so soon — because they eat like an army!
A 24lb turkey served with 10lbs of “creamed mash” (mashed potatoes), 3lbs of yams, 5lbs of stuffing and 1.5lbs of cranberry sauce should have easily fed ten people for at least two days.
After ONE serving (buffet-style):
- The mash was gone! It wasn’t eaten but inhaled!
- The stuffing went quickly too, but there were leftovers —
- The cranberry sauce was enough to fill a little more than two tablespoons
- The turkey lost about six pounds, but,
- The yams seemed to have survived, unscathed.
MiLady shook her head in disbelief. “Why won’t they eat the yams?!?”
“Because they’re not potatoes?” I teased with my familiar half-smirk.
“Sweet potatoes! They are just like sweet potatoes!” she retorted in culinary desperation.
“Oh, that.” I said quietly, as HeartSong (MiLady’s daughter – previous marriage) and the lads stopped eating. Their mouths full like squirrels gathering nuts in the fall.
“Oh, what?” responded “Ma Anam Cara” (Gaelic for “my heart dear”; closest translation: “soulmate”).
“Before you married me, do you remember I told you I’m descended from Leprechaun Rabbits?” She nodded.
I continued, “And you know that Leprechauns are from “The Emerald Isle” (Ireland). She nodded again with a slight smile.
“And Ireland,” I smiled back, “Is best known for its –“
“Four-leaf clovers!” shouted Junior happily.
“Guinness!” Captain chimed.
“Gingers!” Chef announced pointing to his Ron Weasley hair.
“– Potatoes!” I finished in frustration.
MiLady and HeartSong laughed while my sons continued to eat.
“What does that have to do with sweet potatoes, Rabbit?” asked HeartSong.
“Sweet potatoes are the offspring of potatoes that mated with carrots …”
[COUGH! COUGH! CHOKE!]
I turned to my right and saw MiLady with tears in her eyes.
“Yes, I agree, it was a tragic union. The little ones took their shape from the proud potato, but got their pale colour and horrid taste from the carrot.”
“But, why” my wife coughed, as she tried to breathe, “Why won’t you eat them?”
“Leprechaun rabbits don’t like carrots.”