Merry Christmas, everyone!
What made me happy today: Emily.
She’s certainly not the only thing that made me happy today — phone calls from family and far away friends, meeting Mary Robinette’s grandmother, the infamous centenarian, and feasting on homemade pickles and sausage balls while Mary and I sat on the well in the sunshine. It’s Christmas, after all, and Christmas in a house full of family — even if they’re only yours by adoption — is inherently happy-making.
But there’s a special story from my childhood: a story about board games. One of my favorites is SORRY!, the old school Parker Brothers game before they went and monkeyed with them all in an effort to make them"better." (Which is why you should buy all your board games at the Goodwill.) The best thing about SORRY! was that you could play it all by yourself. Yes, it technically required two players, but you didn’t need an actual body sitting in that other seat — Player Two’s moves were always dictated by a turn of the card.
I know this because it’s something that I did — often. I remember being six years old, in Vermont — Cherie and West would have been 20 and 18, respectively, and Sami would have only been 4, and while she learned to love SORRY! in her older years, she was too squirmy and useless at age four. As much as I begged, Cherie was too worried about her boyfriend (later husband) and West just wanted to sit on the couch and draw pictures of Vampires that would gross me out and give me nightmares. So I played SORRY! all by myself. Well…mostly by myself. It was me and my invisible friend Emily.
Emily was my age, with blonde hair that she wore in two braids. She wore a white, long-sleeved shirt and overalls. And she would always play SORRY! with me and never complain. (Two things it was difficult for anyone in my family to accompish.)
So here I am, stuffed full of happy and Christmas, watching the family at the other end of the table play the Charlie Brown Christmas board game that Emily got for Christmas. That’s right…six-year-old, blonde Emily. She’s on a team with her big sister, who’s 18. And they just won the game.
I will never ceased to be amazed at what a wonderful, magical place this world is.
Especially on Christmas.