"Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it." ~ Mary Oliver

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Single Mother's Letter To Santa

A Single Mother's Letter To Santa

Monday, November 29, 2010, 7:19:32 PM | Susan KellerGo to full article

Dear Santa,

     I'll bet you weren't expecting to hear from me, considering I haven't written since the 2nd grade. To start, I really should apologize for my prolonged absence. Back then, my friends convinced me that you weren't real, which was kind of traumatic for me, but peer pressure wins when you're trying to make friends in elementary school. You might be pleased to know that I've outgrown peer pressure and I've chosen better friends.

     Actually, Santa, in the years since we lost touch, I've given myself a pretty good life. I have two wonderful kids that I have been raising alone, with the encouragement of family and friends who love and support me. I have a decent job that keeps us warm and happy, volunteer work that feeds my soul, and I never want for something fulfilling to do around the house and gardens. As far as lives go, I've been pretty blessed. But truth be told, life without you lacks magic. Maybe I should have kept on believing in you despite all evidence to the contrary. I hope you can find it in your jolly heart to forgive my breach of faith, and put me back on your list. I need you now more than I did when I was a child. As a single mother, there's no one in my life to tell my wishes to, never mind hope that one or two of them might be granted. So I beg your forgiveness, and with the hope of a child, I have made up a small list of things that would make my life a little easier. See what you can do.


     I remember when I was a kid, you would fill my stocking with good things and leave it at the end of my bed so it would be the first thing I found when I woke up. Even though I haven't had a stocking at the end of  my bed in 30 years, I admit I still look every Christmas morning. Maybe this year you'll bring one for me...and you can skip the toys and trinkets. All I really need is a stocking full of York peppermint patties and dark chocolate-covered espresso beans.

     A new pair of slippers would be nice, something soft and warm to slip my feet into after a long day...

     I was going to ask for a cook and a maid, but I don't want to be greedy! Besides, I really do like to do those things myself. However, I could use an Ipod with an infinite playlist and a killer stereo system to blast my tunes while I dance around the kitchen, fold laundry, and vacuum the floors. It seems grossly unfair that my children have Ipods and I don't; my music is so much better than theirs.

     That reminds me - I have always wanted a food processor and a professional-style mixer. And an oversized cast iron skillet. Really I need a complete set of pots and pans that didn't come from Wal-Mart so the nonstick surface might actually stick to them. Silicone baking sheets, a meat thermometer, a fryer, a pulverizer, a Bundt cake pan, tongs, spoons, scrapers...

    A Craftsman Professional 26325 Drill-Driver/Circular Saw Combo Kit, and a high-quality blade. I like to cut things when the day goes badly. Also, I want to build a new front porch, shelves for the kitchen and to expand the gardens a bit. So if you're feeling generous, you could throw in a professional sander and a new hammer, but make sure it has a long, heavy handle. The salesman at the hardware store must have thought "girl" when he pointed me toward the one I have now, and that piece of crap isn't good for much more than killing spiders.

         An oversized jacuzzi bathtub. All good advice includes treating yourself to many long, hot baths, but trust me - it doesn't matter how many candles you light or what kind of soothing music you pipe into the bathroom...if all you've got is a standard sized bathtub, then either your breasts or your knees are above the waterline and covered in goosebumps. There is no way to relax under those circumstances. One must be able to sink down into the water all the way up to the ears to truly drown out the sound of your son's profanity while he's playing XBox Live. This gift wouldn't be complete without a few cases of a rare vintage French wine and a Billie Holiday CD.

      For my Buick: A set of 4 new tires, brakes, an oil change, complete tune-up and exhaust system, a new windshield, repairs to the thingy that operates the windows because two of them don't open, and while you're here, if you could use your elven magic to figure out where the rain has been getting in and soaking the floor and the backseat for the last year and a half, that would be great. On second thought, just bring me a brand-new pick-up truck with an extended cab. Red would be nice.

     I'd like a little help with my son, whose sole mission in his teenage life seems to be thwarting my attempts to direct him toward secondary education. I don't need a full-scale miracle here, but if your elves can fashion a way to make him improve his grades and show more respect for authority, then I can do the rest. Perhaps you could send a good male role model his way; someone who would spend time with him that I don't have, doing all the guy things I can't do. He really is an amazing, smart, loving person; I just need a hand helping him grow into the fine man that he deserves to be.

     I could use a little patience. Actually, I could use a lot of patience...better make it economy size. And forgiveness, both for myself and for others. That's a gift that a stressed-out woman can never have enough of.

    I'm enclosing both of my children's Christmas lists. Now that they are teenagers, a simple Christmas Club just won't cut it; there isn't one item on either list that doesn't require a session with a financial planner.

      It might seem that this list is a little long, but in my defense, I have been a VERY good girl for a VERY long time. Yes, I know you "see me when I'm sleeping, you know when I'm awake", but I am not going to argue semantics with you over the whole naughty/nice thing. I'm not in second grade anymore. At my age, a little naughty is not only acceptable, it's encouraged, so please overlook that one time... (And while we're on the subject, maybe you could leave some more of that under my Christmas tree.)

     Perhaps there is just one more thing, Santa, now that I think about it. I could use a pair of strong arms, preferably attached to someone funny and kind who thinks I'm amazing, even when I'm not, and wants to kill the spiders for me. If you don't have room in your sack for that, then please find me a new pair of arms to wear; carrying everything by myself has had its rewards, yes, but it can really make your arms tired. And when you're a single mom, you need your arms for everything - for earning a living, for making your house a home that your children can happily grow in, and for holding them close when your love is all you have left to give them.

     Thank you, Santa, for listening to my wishes. I promise to leave cookies out for you this year. In fact, over the years I've become quite an accomplished baker, so these cookies will be far better than the broken gingerbread heads I used to leave you. I'll leave a bottle of Jagermeister right next to them; a gift from one hard-working soul to another.

                                                                                                      Love, Susie (They call me Susan now.)

     P.S. I almost forgot - Peace on Earth. Okay, that's everything. 

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