The Last Day: My Most Vivid Memory

Today is the last day of the Challenge, and while I haven't participated in every single day, I'm so glad that I participated because I stretched myself as a blogger. I'll be sad to see this challenge end for more reasons than one and I'm so thankful to Jenni for coming up with the idea. 

Though most of you will be reading this tomorrow (Saturday), today's topic is a vivid memory. I don't have an image to accompany this post so I'm just going to have to let my words paint the picture. 

I was about 4 or 5 years old, and it was Christmas Eve. In my family, we always do our Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, it's just our tradition. Well, we were doing our Christmas shopping and my parents had told my sister and me that they were going to buy our gifts but that Santa was going to come by later on and "approve them." Like most little children would, we believed them. I mean, the story made perfect sense, right?
So we begin at the mall, we're at KB Toys and we're just piling things in the cart, my sister and I. We had so much stuff. I don't know how my parents managed to pay for it all because we didn't have a lot of money growing up, but every Christmas they managed to get us just about everything we'd asked for. 
We checked out at KB Toys and then we left the mall and went across the street to Toys 'R' Us, which was my childhood Heaven. I just went down every aisle, picking up Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids, outfits and accessories. I was so excited! And my parents just kept telling us "If you've been good, then Santa will approve everything we've gotten you!" 

I passed out on the way home; in our family, you shop 'til you drop. After getting home, I'm sure we made Christmas cookies and decorated them. There must have been icing and flour everywhere, but (good) parents are so patient with things like that. We listened to some Christmas music and then our parents tucked us into bed. It was almost impossible to sleep on Christmas Eve because of the excitement and anticipation. But I was only 4, so after a few minutes I drifted off to sleep as visions of Barbie Dream Houses danced in my head.

When I awoke the next morning, I almost jumped out of my skin. It's Christmas! I thought. My sister and I always seemed to wake up at the same time for these kinds of occasions. We jumped out of bed and ran into our parents room.

"Mommy wake up! Daddy, it's Christmas!" we would squeal in unison. 

And as we drug our sleepy parents to the living room, I remember feasting my eyes on all of the booty we had scored. Yes, I'm speaking pirate on this one. 
We had everything! A pink Barbie limousine, a Lego doll house, and so much more. But  my eyes landed on something more important than any of those things. Among all the other treasure...was an easel. It was made of hard plastic and it was grey with turquoise legs. It had a cup holder and a tray attached to it. It was absolutely perfect. And when my eyes landed on it, I knew it was mine. 

You see, when I was little, I wanted to be an artist. I loved painting and drawing. And I had never asked for an easel, but somehow, my parents knew what I would really love for Christmas. It's amazing how parents know those things... 

To this day, it's still my favorite gift that I've ever received from anyone. I think we still have it somewhere. I hope so because I would love to give it to one of my children one day. 

I also love it because of what it represents. To me, it was parents way of supporting my dreams, of listening to my interests, of knowing my heart. They knew me and they knew what I would love and they worked hard all year so that they could give it to me. They worked hard so that they could support my dreams. 

I may not be a painter or a sketch artist. But I do consider myself to be an artist of sorts. I have always had an eye for the creative. I will always look at things and think of how I could make them more beautiful. Only now, I tend to paint pictures with my words. 

I hope that, one day, I can be just as good of a parent as mine were. I hope that I can always encourage and support my kids' dreams. 

I'll never forget that easel, or that Christmas. It was one for the history books... 

Happy June, y'all!