Close your eyes and picture the Budweiser Holiday commercial with the carriage and the Clydesdale horses and the snow-covered paths and the jiggle bells ringing. The group of the carriage are arriving for what looks like the perfect holiday break, gifts in tact and smiles on their faces. (I know your humming that song right now, aren't you..)
Now open your eyes and bring yourself to Arizona, 2008:
It's 55 degrees (a little chilly to us) and we are sitting in the airport cell lot waiting for a call from a child returning for Christmas break from college. You pick him up curbside and you notice that he has a giant bag just like that seen in the commercial, only you recognize that it's his dirty laundry bag. Ho, Ho, HO!
Immediately he starts fiddling with the car radio and the Holiday music is gone, in a blink of an eye. His eyes are blurry (finals?) and his nose is red like a cherry (it's cold in Ohio?) and talks a mile a minute about his life at school.
The minute he gets in the door he's on the floor messing around with the puppy. Wrigley loves the attention and asks for more. They run around the house, knocking beautifully set-up Christmas displays down until they collapse in the kitchen. Wrigley is lopping up water from his bowl and Jonathan is asking for a soft drink. Welcome home, JB.
He moves swiftly to Laura's room where he screams loudly to scare her. The laughter that follows rings all through the house.
Big brother Andy and girlfriend Kim arrive. The house begins to rattle. A basketball game is turned on.....every one's hungry. When is dinner, Ma? It's time for boys to tease and question Laura about her social life. I listen carefully....
Presents are scarce but they few still sparkle under the tree. Wrigley wants that fuzzy snowball placed on the biggest package and plans his strategy to get it while we aren't looking. We make a fire in the fireplace and may open the french doors if it gets the house too warm.
I am watching this scene and am filled with love and joy and wish that I could slow down time, if only for a week.
My family commercial may not work for TV but it works just fine for me. Hmmmmm, hmmmm, hmm...hmm.hmm; la,la,la,la..da.da.da.da..da.