I woke up to a mass of kisses on my cheeks, forehead, temples and lips. I kissed him back for a minute and then pulled away. “Merry Christmas!” we both said at the same time. “Come on! You never let me say it first!” I cried rolling over on top of him. “Sorry! Okay here, let’s redo. Ready go” he said, then shutting his mouth quickly. “Merry Christmas” I said, satisfied at my chance to say it. No matter what, every year he would always say it first, and we would argue over it all the time. “I love you” he said before kissing me. A minute later the door opened and I quickly rolled off Sid.
“Mom said it’s almost time to open presents!” it was Brenna, screaming. “Okay Brenna. Can you give us a few minutes to clean up and we will be down?” A frown appeared on her face for a millisecond and then her adorable smile returned. “Sure! I can pour you guys some juice!” she said, shutting the door with a little too much strength and yelling to her mother all the way down the stairs. We both laughed for a moment before I sat up and pulled him off the bed.
“Where are we going?” he asked. I turned around and smiled, slipped his shirt over his head and pushed him into the bathroom, shutting the door behind us.
No, we didn’t do what you think we did.
We got re-dressed and made our way downstairs to meet the wide eyes of the kids and the tired eyes of the adults. “Don’t hold back! Go ahead!” Sid said as we sat down on the floor next to the fireplace. He handed out gifts to the adults and some to the kids. We watched as their faces lit up and they laughed in pure joy.
When things settled down, I handed Sid one gift. He rolled his eyes as he pulled the paper off revealing a Sidney Crosby tree ornament. “I couldn’t resist” I laughed as he threw the paper at me. Then I handed him another box. He opened up the paper to find a few new brighter colored shirts, like red and light tan. “You have way too many dark colors” I said as he shot me a half an evil glare. “This is the real one” I said as I passed him another gift. He ripped the paper off and tilted his head as he opened a scrapbook. I had been working on it for a while, he had no idea. It had pictures and memories of us from a long time ago. There were some news articles and a whole bunch of pictures in it. I left a handful of pages blank at the end. “Why are these blank?” he asked. “Well the story isn’t over yet” I said. My favorite smile appeared as he kissed my cheek. “It’s not much, but I...” he cut me off. “It doesn’t have to be much. I love it.” He said with another big smile, and I was happy, it was genuine.
We spent the last few hours playing with the kids and their new toys and relaxing with the family. Soon we had lunch, and then they all packed up and we said our goodbyes.
We sat in our living room, looking at the giant mess that had appeared. “Funny how there has always been nothing here. And now it looks like a tornado came through” he said picking up some scrap pieces of wrapping paper. I laughed and placed some of the gifts underneath the tree.
He disappeared into the kitchen a few minutes later while I was vacuuming the rug, which somehow got crumbs and dirt all over it. I found him with his head in the fridge, eating peanut butter balls covered in chocolate, which my mother had made. “Sid! You can’t eat all of those!” I yelled prying the box out of his hand. “Stop!” I squealed as he popped yet another one in his mouth and holding the box above my head. “You know you’re going to have to skate that off and listen to your trainers complain that you are getting a little flabby” I said hitting his stomach, which was rock hard of course. He rolled his eyes and said with a mouthful, “Come on, if I eat like 15 it won’t hurt me.” I laughed again and he wrapped one arm around me and put the box above the fridge, where I couldn’t reach it. I frowned at him and he bent to kiss me. “You taste like a jar of peanut butter” I said pulling away. He ignored me and then looked at the clock. “We have somewhere to be.” “And that is?” He laughed and walked over to the back door, pulling open the curtains and vertical blinds.
“We should call it something cool, like maybe ‘The Crosby’” he said pointing to the back yard. “What are you talking about?” I asked walking over to the door. I then stopped in my tracks, and I found myself looking at a man made rink.
“How did I not notice that?!” I said in disbelief. “Well, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve kept all the curtains to the back of the house closed for about 3 days, and the only time you really see the back is at the kitchen sink, but you are only by there when its dark. And I had them put it in when you had to work late the other day.” “And I’m supposed to skate how?” A grin appeared on his face as he walked to the closet where he kept his bag and took out a box. “With these of course” he said holding up a pair of shiny white skates. I smiled and pulled them out of his hand. “Oh, and I got you a stick too. So you can help me practice.” I laughed and brushed passed him, heading up the stairs.
“Where are you going?” he called. “To change my pants and to get a jacket” I yelled back. I could practically feel his smile and happiness radiating from the kitchen. When I got back down to the kitchen, he was standing there, already in his skates and a jacket. He pulled out a chair for me and I sat down. I put on the right one first and started to tie it, but I was stopped immediately. “That isn’t how you do it” he said. I just laughed at him and let him do it.
A few minutes later he was pulling me across the yard full of snow. He took a puck out of his pocket and put it down at ‘center ice’. “First to three wins” he said before flipping the puck passed me and skating to the goal. “Cheater!” I yelled. “You’re right, that was a cheap shot. But a goal is a goal.”
I tapped his skated with my stick, “Prepare to lose.”
Part 9 - *Thank you for your amazing and kind thoughts. I love writing for you all! Another little installment...* The List, Part 9 My mind was racing as I navig...
9 months ago