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christmas surprises
2005-12-28 - 3:55 p.m.

So...Christmas...

Last July, Kirk fixed the remote control car he bought in Japan when he was in high school, brought it to camp, and terrorized the little girls with it, running it up and down the hills and chasing them around the grass. The fixing of the car necessitated about seventy thousand trips in and out of the hobby shop. Luckily, the hobby shop has a Thomas train table set up, so Will and I had something to do while Kirk talked RC cars with the barely pubescent staff.

Somewhere around our fourth visit, he pulled me over to the back counter and pointed up. A chorus of angels sang out as he pointed to the large black and orange box on the high shelf, out of reach of the masses. "That's what I want," he told me breathlessly, "the HPI Savage."

The next ten minutes were filled with his excited voice, describing the fabulous attributes of this wonderful vehicle that apparently we could not live without. The love fest continued as we pried Will away from the train table, buckled him into his car seat, drove through the local Taco Bell, and headed halfway back to the lake.

Finally, I interrupted him. "Bottom line, my dear--how much does this little slice of heaven cost?"

A long pause, and then a defeated, "about five hundred bucks..."

The likelyhood that Kirk would own one of these trucks flew out the window.

Fast foward to September. After two more months of hearing how wonderful the Savage is and reminding him again and again that we didn't have a line item for remote control vehicles in our already stretched household budget, I finally emailed his family, suggesting that if everyone wanted to chip in, we could buy the damn thing for him for Christmas.

Longest secret I've ever kept in my life.

I'll skip the annoying family details, because typing them out might just make me stick my head through the keyboard, and jump straight to the happy finish, when the giant shiny black and orange box sat under the tree, wrapped in Snowman paper with a big "TO KIRK" tag on the front.

He was thrilled.

I still haven't seen the damn thing run yet (thanks for raining all weekend, weather. Literally rained on his (very small) parade. Grrr), but I gather from the stream of chatter that's spilled from my husband that it goes about 45 miles an hour and quite literally flies through the air.

Those little girls at the lake better get better running shoes for this summer.

Christmas turnabout is fair play, though, because he got me in return...

After he'd opened his truck, he handed me a small wrapped box. It was about the size of several CD's, though not as heavy.

"Who is this from?" I asked.

"Me," he replied, watching me anxiously.

I unwrapped the corner, revealing a shiny black box underneath. A little more unwrapping showed the iPod logo.

I stopped unwrapping mid-package, just past the part showing it was the 30 gb, $300 model, and stared at him. Although I was smiling, in my head I thought, "What the hell did you do, Kirk? We can't afford this!!"

He smiled back. "Unwrap it all the way and look at the back of the box."

"Happy Holidays from the T...Companies. Thank you for a great 2005!"

He went on to explain that the president of his company had called all the employees into the conference room on Tuesday and handed one of these shiny babies to each and every one of them, along with a gift receipt, just in case. Not really wanting one himself but knowing I'd give my left foot for that same package, he brought it home, wrapped it up, and stuck it under the tree.

I love the iPod. I love it even more because no one I know had to pay for it.



ANd now, a brief question for all you other iPod owners out there. I can't seem to get it to charge reliably. Any suggestions? When I plug it into the computer, the screen reads "Do not disconnect" and the battery symbol flashes with the lightning bolt in the center, as it should, but after it synchs with iTunes, the battery goes back to normal and it stops charging.

Somehow, after leaving it plugged in the other day, I found it at full power, but I haven't been able to replicate that result.



Anyway, the rest of Christmas, while less eventful, was equally as happy. Will was a crazy man on a giant sugar high and now has more toys that some toy stores, I think. I put half the new stuff away unopened. Some of it will come out on a rainy day, and some of it, I think, will get donated somewhere. He just doesn't *need* that much, and I don't want him to grow up with SO much that he becomes greedy.

There might need to be some limits next year...

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful holiday.

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