Tonight is the first night of Chanukah. The first and the eighth nights are my favorites of the holiday—all the excitement of the start of the celebration tonight, and then the 18 candles (two menorahs) filling the dining room with a warm glow eight nights from now. Plus all that lovely low-light photography featuring my Nikon D700 and Nikon 50mm lens in between!
Recently, I asked my sons for their Chanukah lists. My #1 son only wants two things: Music and books. Those (and videoing) are his passions. Pretty easy.
But then there’s the #2 son. That’s his list above, scrawled on a dry-erase board. On the left side are the discs he’d like for disc golf; on the right is everything else.
#2 knows, of course, that just because he wants something doesn’t mean he’ll get it; he’s not a super-materialistic kid anyway. But it’s nice to know what’s on his mind.
Let’s look at his list:
1. An iPod Touch. He especially wants this so he can play Jelly Cars, which, apparently, is the crack of app games. I put it on my iPhone for him, and he loves to use up my battery power moving those silly cars through obstacles.
2. An ATM bank. He saw this in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond mailer and thinks it would be a great place to keep his money. Instead of strewn around his room, as it is now.
3. UH stuff. As in the University of Houston, the Mister’s alma mater. Easy to find here in the Houston area, especially with the football team doing so well.
5. Culpepper jersey (not Miami or Vikings). #2 is a big Daunte Culpepper fan. He already has the quarterback’s jerseys from his stints with the Dolphins and Minnesota. Now he’d like one from Oakland or Detroit. The price of Culpepper’s Detroit Lions jersey? 80 bucks. As in . . . don’t think so.
4. I skipped #4 at first, because it makes me laugh so much. First of all, can you even read what it says? At first glance, I couldn’t decipher what #2 wrote after the word “No.” Was that “boots?” Or “Beatles?” #2 shot me a withering glance and said emphatically, “It’s ‘no books,’ Mom.”
No surprise there. It happened several Chanukahs ago when my sons opened their presents one of the nights. I’ll always remember how #1’s eyes lit up when he saw that he had several new books. And I’ll never forget how #2 scowled as he held his mini stack of paperbacks. What he said next are words that will haunt me for the rest of my life:
“I hate this night! I always hate book night.”
And that’s why #2 made sure to note that he did not want any literature gifts this Chanukah.
Now, there’s never been a Chanukah that I didn’t give the boys books as a present one of the nights. Even after that fateful declaration of hatred. What’s my plan this year? And will #2’s list be fulfilled?
We’ll know in a week!