Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Unwrapping

It's Christmas day. I'm four, maybe five years old. At the family party, Santa is in attendance. I've received a number of gifts from godparents, relatives.

I unwrap.

A dog! That barks and walks! Joy!!

Even though nearly twenty-five Christmases pile atop that one, I can still touch that elation. But I can also finger acute disappointment...anger -- batteries not included.

I must have thrown a fit right then and there, a storm akin to those I navigate with my own children these days, because I can also bring the sting of a scolding to the surface.  Shame colored my cheeks when my parents explained my transgression -- I learned a lesson about gratitude that day. But my disappointment was real: the most exciting present, once unwrapped, was missing an essential piece, rendering it incomplete.


My dad always told me I have a "gift" for writing. College professors affirmed my abilities with high marks and praise. Post-college, I published an essay in a magazine, and I've blogged regularly for several years.

But I've never fully unwrapped this gift.

I fear that under the shiny paper of potential, I lack something essential.

True? I yearn to find out.

Come along with me -- in 2010, my project is the unwrapping.