Thursday, January 9, 2014

T is for Tradition

I was born the daughter of an artist, a goldsmith to be precise. Before my elementary school days, I played for hours in the back of my father's jewelry store. It was only the two of us, day after day. When I turned twelve, the adoption of my siblings became finalized. I was no longer the younger sister. No more was I the baby of the family. I was now the second of six. But every Saturday after my horse back riding lessons, I was only one of one. I had my dad's undivided attention.
That year, while my family readied the house for Christmas Eve dinner, my dad and I spent the evening working side by side until the last shopper left. During the tumultuous teenage years I would find solace in the store on Saturdays. Dad had a knack for listening to my narcissist rants fueled by raging hormones and lack of perspective. He'd tease and grin but never - never would he correct or chide. When I was sixteen and attending the junior college, Dad closed his store to see my final in a colt breaking class. He snapped pictures while I beamed alongside an obedient horse. It was our last Saturday of the semester, my last month living in my parents' house.
But it wasn't sad. Why? Dad and I still had Christmas Eve.
I would fly home every year, continuing the tradition. Whether I was newly wed or swollen with child, I would work Christmas Eve. The holidays wouldn't hold the magic of Christmas or the sparkle of the season until that day. Time had always been my love language, and to have a whole day with my dad every year of my life is a gift beyond price.

No comments: