For the longest time, longer than I can remember, it's always upset me to see little kids wanting toys in stores. Well, especially if screaming is involved. But nobody likes that. But, I don't know, I think I had trouble wanting things when I was a child. I had no trouble wanting them, of course, but I had trouble asking for them. Half the time I would not ask for the stupid Happy Meal because I was embarrassed. Embarrassed to admit to wanting. I think my parents and grandparents made me feel guilty even when they bought me stuff... or maybe that was me, my overdeveloped sense of guilt already rearing its ugly head at five years old. I remember bargaining. "I won't ask for anything else until Christmas if you'll get me that My Little Pony." (It was a blue unicorn; I still remember. We were on vacation in Texas.) And then painstakingly explaining a few days later to my dad when my grandfather bought me a tiny little cat trinket that it didn't apply to Papa Wendell because he wasn't there at the time and I had just been talking to Mom and Dad. And Papa Wendell whispering to me in the truck a few minutes later, "I'll make sure you get something before Christmas." I think Papa Wendell always had a soft spot for me, even when I was a brat.... I miss him. But anyway, a kid longingly looking through the toy aisle at Wal-Mart is still pretty much guaranteed to make me tear up... I have no idea why.
I figured I was growing up when I started sleeping on Christmas Eve. (Of course, right about when I was 12 or 13 Mom was like, "You know about Santa Claus, don't you?" Yeah, I had heard, but it was a good deal and I wasn't going to mess with it. Well, ever since then she's made me pick out my own Christmas presents so opening presents isn't nearly as fun as it used to be.) But I knew I was growing up when Mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I realized that money couldn't buy any of the things I wanted.