She found Christmas to be a bittersweet time of year at their house. Her beloved husband of eighteen years had passed away on Christmas Eve four years ago. Annie was only five when Richard died of cancer. She was too young at the time to fully grasp what was happening. But now she was nine and old enough to be told exactly what happened to her father.
“Okay, you ready?”
“Yup” Annie replied.
“I want a bicycle, and a dolly, and….”
” Also I want a puppy, and a kitty, oh and a elephant too.”
“Okay I guess.” Annie sounded slightly disappointed at her mother’s decision.
“I still want an elephant.”
They finally found a parking space within walking distance of the mall’s entrance. As Mary was doing her Christmas shopping she thought about her daughter’s request. She knew it was silly, but she had on of those “dangerous ideas” as Richard called them. She had to admit that over time, she had spoiled Annie a little bit. All right, a lot. Anyway, her idea was to get her the bicycle and doll for Christmas and save the best present for her birthday, the day after Christmas.
The next day, Mary left work early to put her plan in motion. She stopped by the zoo to talk with the owner. The deal was done. Annie would get her wish this year. For her birthday Annie could come to the zoo and help take care of a new baby elephant. Mary was quite pleased with herself. She couldn’t wait until December 26th.
Christmas morning came and Annie was very excited while she opened the huge package that contained a brand new bike. Her eyes lit up as she discovered at least ten more presents under the tree. After that they went to her mother’s house for Christmas dinner. The meal was the best Mary had all year. Annie seemed to like it just as much as her mom. She had several servings of ham and turkey, and she seemed to cover her plate with cranberry sauce.
When Mary and Annie got home, Mary asked Annie what her favorite part of Christmas was. Annie replied “Knowing that my birthday is tomorrow.”
“Today’s my birthday” Annie said. The now ten-year old managed to get Mary up quickly.
When Annie asked what they were going to do today Mary told her that Annie wouldn’t believe it if she told her.