penny in a castle

A digital chapbook.


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Today I opened the nineteenth door in my advent calendar and found…a boot.

As I may have mentioned before, I was one of those inconvenient babies that was born very close to Christmas.  It was completely my fault – I chose to be late after all, and then put my mom through the grief of a long and unsuccessful labour.  Eventually, they had to come in and get me out via c-section.

So I think mom probably knew from day one I was going to be trouble.

Back in those days though, if you had a c-section, you were kept in the hospital for two weeks.  Your baby was kept in the nursery overnight if you weren’t breast feeding (*gasp* and nobody but flower children breast fed their children in those days).  The way my mom describes it, it was almost like a spa experience compared to what she faced when she got home with a screaming uncooperative me.

As a result of her extended recovery time, she was still in the hospital Christmas morning. With her breakfast, she received a tiny, red, hand-made ceramic boot.  A bit of plastic holly and berries was stuck into the top.  Mom brought it home with her and kept it.

As I grew up, each year, she would carefully unwrap it from within the decorations box. Each year it would go onto the tree.  After Christmas was over, she would rewrap it and put it away for another year.  And each year she would tell the story again of how she had found it that Christmas morning on her breakfast tray.

A number of years ago, my mom gave me the boot (so to speak).  And I have started the same tradition, putting it on the tree and telling my own children about being a stubborn child, clearly not wanting to be born into such a difficult world.  This year the boot is 44 years old.  We have both been around for a long time.  But I think I am showing wear more than it is these days.


Written by pennyinacastle

December 21, 2014 at 3:19 am

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