Monday, February 2, 2009

Not about the shoes

I told a lie last week. But some are forgivable, right? Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, claiming to not know what happened to the rest of the Junior Mints…. Sometimes being a grown-up means you have to not tell the truth. It’s a complicated world. (I will hunt you down and do terrible things to you if you tell my children I said that, by the way.)

Anyway, my birthday was Saturday, and I desperately wanted two things: Madden ’09 (shut up) and a pair of faux-fur leopard-print clogs. I don’t know what it says about me that those were the two things I wanted most in the world; you can judge that for yourselves.

Jeff took the boys shopping while I was freezing my ass off (aka "vacationing") in Minnesota last week. We talked on Skype (is there a verb form of Skype? “We Skyped”?) on Tuesday morning. Evan’s getting better, but he’s not a real pro at the whole secret-keeping bit yet. So he promptly blurted out, “We went shopping yesterday and got you Madden ’09!” Which promptly inspired Jensen to attempt to clobber Evan. Which promptly inspired Evan to cry hysterically.

Which promptly inspired me to lie. I knew exactly what Evan had said. But without missing a beat I lied. “I didn’t understand you Evan. The sound wasn’t very good. Jensen, why are you so mad? I didn’t hear what Evan said.” It worked: Jensen was placated and Evan’s tears dried and Jeff tried not to laugh.

So Evan spilled the Madden beans. Jeff spilled the clog beans. These shoes were driving me nuts, and I was on the verge of just buying them. “Operation Leopard Print is complete,” he told me, afraid that I would get them myself. (Very tricky little code he used, eh? He’s clever like that.)

On Saturday morning, my gifts were on the table. Jensen had wrapped them himself (in carefully-chosen Christmas paper) with his brand-new Swiss army knife. Visions of arterial lacerations aside, I was very proud of him. He was proud of him.

Both boys jumped and danced and could not wait for me to open my gifts. Their excitement was bubbling over, and I couldn’t resist whipping them into a frenzy. “I wonder what’s in those boxes?” I asked. “What did you guys get me?” And every time I asked they collapsed in giggles.

I tortured them for as long as I thought advisable. (I didn't want anyone to either wet his pants or start crying or both.) Then I opened my gifts.

Guess what I got? Madden ’09 and a very cool pair of Danish leopard-print clogs. Great gifts. No surprises.

Saturday may have been the official Best Birthday Ever, and not because I got what I asked for. The boys’ happiness was better than any surprise they could have purchased. And I’m not lying at all.

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