#reverb10 – Day 30 – Gift. This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? (Author: Holly Root)

I have received a lot of gifts this year. The most important emotional gift has been the gift of time. Because you cannot, of course, save time in a bottle, nor can you wrap it. But you can take the children away for the morning so that I can breathe and you can make it plain that you will do it on a regular schedule so I can even breathe in between days, knowing when the next respite will begin.

And, in the past month, I’ve been given momentum, a giggling tumbleweed in a wind storm, putting the work out there, and out there, and out there.

As for tangible gifts.

A few weeks before Christmas, Trombone asked me what I wanted as a gift. We had been talking a lot about gifts. He wanted a medium sized drum kit (thank you preschool field trip to a recording studio) and had asked Santa for it. Twice. (spoiler alert: No. Way.) Fresco has been asking for a Real Buzz Lightyear since August and given his sustained dedication, we decided he probably would love it forever or at least until it broke. The kids and I had decided to get SA a calendar of pictures of outer space, because he loves outer space.

Put on the spot by Trombone, all I could say when he asked what I wanted was, ‘a pretty necklace.’

Which is kind of whack; I already have necklaces and I rarely wear them because I rarely wear anything but a t-shirt and jeans or, if it’s cold, a long sleeved t-shirt and jeans. But I really have trouble thinking of things I would like as gifts, other than ‘time.’ I like everything! Books, socks, pens, chocolate, wine. I am very not picky. You could buy me a gift at a gas station, five minutes before we are to have a seasonal cocktail, and I would be delighted with it.

The way I hear the story told, SA and the children went out on a morning (my gift of ‘time’ is ongoing) and looked at some necklaces in a store. Trombone really liked one with a jewel-crusted skull and crossbones, because pirates are a girl’s best friend, but SA decided a better option would be to make a necklace.

The following weekend, after buying ten pounds of apples at the Royal City Farmers Market, we wandered down to downtown New Westminster, where we got a coffee and snack at the cafe on the corner of 6th and Columbia that until that day had never once been open when I went by. Not the Starbucks, the other corner. As we walked down the street I spotted a shop called Moody Beads and pointed it out to SA. Then I went to Army & Navy and bought hilarious joke underwear for him and Star Wars underwear for Trombone, because even though they say not to give underwear for Christmas, if your recipient is a 4.5 year old boy, Star Wars underwear is more than appropriate, it will earn you a hug and a kiss and a “I LOVE MY NEW UNDERWEAR”. Very gratifying.

There was much hushing and shushing in the house whenever the necklace was mentioned. Fresco really wanted to tell me all about it. Trombone was figuring out how to keep a secret. While I got my toes painted in the comfort of Jen’s house, the necklace was being crafted. On Christmas Eve afternoon, it was meticulously wrapped. And on Christmas morning, fraught with excitement, Trombone made me open it.

And it’s beautiful. I mean, it would have been beautiful even if it was made of fossilized spiders, but it is truly beautiful.

It clicks against itself when I move. It is bright and shiny. It is soothing to the fingers.

Each bead was strung by someone I love. Each bead is love.

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