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Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Memories - Packy

Thought I'd share some of Christmas memories with y'all.
I’ve always been a sucker for my boys when they wanted something. One summer, while we were window shopping at thepet store on vacation upstate, Stevie, my younger son, fell in love with an Ornate Horned Frog, also known as a “Pacman” Frog.

This exotic frog cost a fortune, $15 about 12 years ago. But he turned big eyes on me and I caved. We brought “Packy”, Stevie’s name for him, home with us. Stevie was ecstatic, picking up the frog often – Packy tolerated this well – and talking to him. Trips to the pet store to buy crickets to feed Packy were a regular event, not for Stevie, who was only six but for me and my husband. I admit I enjoyed the beauty of the frog’s exotic coloring and his cute frowning face.
 Packy thrived until October. Being a tropical frog, he couldn’t withstand the northern cold overnight in our New York City apartment. The pet store man didn’t advise us to buy a heat rock. Our ignorance brought about Packy’s early demise. Stevie was crushed. Though only in second grade, he fully understood what it meant to lose someone you loved intensely – even if that someone was only a small frog. He cried like his heart was breaking and was despondent for weeks. 
Christmas rolled around. With a growing family, I often cut corners, including trips to the local remainder or dollar store, as some call it. I never knew what would turn up at Weber’s. I was hoping to find a small gift or two for the kids. Strolling down one aisle, I turned the corner and BLAM! There it was! A whole bin full of stuffed “Packy’s”! Yup, they all looked like Packy, too. Not the mild, funny, smiling face frog of cartoons. Nope, these frogs had the same wide-mouth, frowning, serious look as Packy did. The soft treasure lifted my spirits about twenty feet. What a Christmas surprise!
That Christmas, it wasn’t the boxes of Lego sets that excited me with anticipation, but the stuffed Packy hiding under the tree. Stevie was overjoyed to find him. They became inseparable. He slept with the new Packy every night. Stevie is now Steve – 21 years old. Packy still lives in the bedroom, one leg dangling, one eye missing, but otherwise
intact. Finding stuffed Packy was our Christmas miracle that year.  

Please leave a comment, share a funny or touching present you gave or received for Christmas.


Flossie Benton Rogers said...

Moving story. I'm glad you found a new Packy for your son. My son and daughter-in-law are both in law enforcement and have two sons age 5 and 3-- my Snickerdoodles. Two years ago Mr. R and I bought our Snickerdoodles a two-seater police car for a driver and passenger. I'll never forget their surprise and delight on seeing their very own car like Daddy's and Mama's. They are still driving it all over the house.

Jean Joachim said...

I love your story, Flossie! How great for them to have that car and for you to have provided it. Happy holidays.

Lindsay said...

You were such a good mommy to buy the stuffed animal frog for your son

An Open Book said...

One of my funniest memories involves my first husband - my kids were all VERY young and we had bought a HUGE fresh tree to decorate... it was so big it kept toppling over, even after husband trimmed the stem off. So what did he do? He took the tree stand the tree was in and NAILED it (yes, you heard me correctly)... he nailed the tree stand to the floor! Needless to say the tree didn't fall over or even lean! That memory always makes me chuckle

Kellie Kamryn said...

What a great story :) It's always the small things that mean so much. The story that has touched me right now is when a mom came up to me at school today and told me how much it meant to her daughter that my son noticed how pretty she looked in her Christmas dress at the concert the other night. She was tickled pink he took the time to comment when she'd been so excited to wear her new dress. They're only six ;)