The holidays have rolled around AGAIN! The older I get I can never get used to how time moves more quickly. As a child, it always seemed as though Christmas would never get here. Now, it comes all too fast. The past few years my family has purchased matching Christmas pajamas that we wear on Christmas day. It has become a new tradition that my son suggested that we carry on. Traditions are important to me but I also love trying new things.
Last year was the first time my family went to the movies on Christmas night. I had a great time. My belly was full from dinner and I proudly wore my holiday pajamas under my coat and sat snuggled and warm in the theater seat watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My family had an amazing time and we made new memories and traditions.
Have a blessed holiday no matter what you celebrate and enjoy the ones around you.
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She comes to a stop in front of a store filled with lotions, soaps, and other brightly colored bath stuff. I hover in the doorway leaning against the opening while she juts in and out of aisles grabbing this and that and tossing it into a netted bag outfitted for shoppers. I really could do this all day and never have a complaint because watching her fills me with happiness like I’ve never experienced before.
“Do you want anything?” Erin smiles at me.
She knows the answer is no but that cute little grin on her face was her attempt at a joke. I’ll use the scented, smelly stuff at the apartment because she puts it there but that is about my limit with cherry-scented soaps.
When she’s finished, I walk with her to the check-out. She puts her bag on the white counter and the clerk rings up her items. The clerk is distracted. She glances at me every few seconds and then looks back down at the register keys. I know that glare. It says what is this girl doing with me. We don’t fit. Erin is lively, pretty, and short. I’m tall, broad, and menacing. I don’t try to be that way, I just am. Growing up in the mafia life gives me a certain persona that I can’t shake, put aside, or hide, and frankly, I’ve stopped trying.
“That will be $56.25.”
I take my wallet out of my back pocket and lay three twenties on the counter. The clerk counts out my change but doesn’t hand it to me. She hands it to Erin. Wow, this girl must be really fucking afraid of me. I shrug it off. Whatever. This isn’t the first time and won’t be the last.
I shift to move out of agitation. I struggle with why. I’m with the only person in the world who offers me peace and comfort. The face of the kid flits through my mind. Is it only because he reminds me so much of myself? Of my own struggles? I have never questioned my place. I know where I fit in. With the DeLisi family, I know my job, and may not have turned out like I thought but it is still me. Goals and aspirations in my line of work are trivial thoughts. We don’t have them. We just do what we are taught, what we need to do, and it never feels wrong. That kid does what he needs to do. He bridges the gap between a sucky life and what needs to be done. I turn to Erin, take her hand, and lead her down the long stretch of the mall.