Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

I get a little (a lot) mushy


Some back story: At this point, I was 24 and had been out of the house for years; my brother was seven.  My dad had to take my mom to the hospital for what turned out to be pancreatitis.  My mom is pretty much THE most awesome mom in the world. 

So I had monumental shoes to fill.

December 24, 2003

I have spent the entire evening trying to “distract” him from the fact our parents might not make it home tonight. We’ve played Bingo, watched a movie, played a computer game, watched the cat run and hide from his toy mouse. That made bro laugh the most, since the mouse [battery powered] was literally chasing the cat around.

Sometimes I get the feeling children know when you’re trying to distract them, but they seem to appreciate it, you know?

Bro has been “in bed” since about 10, but of course he’s so excited about Santa coming that he’s been up several times for a drink of water and such. We left Santa a note with an empty cup, telling him to help himself to cold milk in the refrigerator.

I’m trying so hard to make everything seem “normal,” even tho I’ve never done this Santa thing before. I don’t want him to wake up tomorrow morning and have nothing from Santa. I feel like I’m holding up the weight of the world for this precious little seven yr old that I love more than anything. He still believes and I want him to stay that way for as long as possible- I guess in that respect, it’s much like a parent would feel. I don’t want him to be jaded or disappointed- that’s what adulthood is for.

And fretting about this makes me appreciate my parents even more- all the yrs, even after my older bro and I stopped believing, my ma still waited until Christmas Eve night to bring our presents upstairs. I still get excited over Christmas b/c of that.


There was something about that night that made me feel more like an adult than I’d ever felt before.  It was one of those, “Whoa, being a parent is hard, how do people do this 24/7?”

So I salute you, parents, and all of those people out there, like teachers and social workers, who rarely get their dues. 

Now go out and tell your family that they’re awesome (unless they’re not, then I’m really sad for you).


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

3 thoughts on “I get a little (a lot) mushy

  1. I love this story 🙂 You are a great sister for taking on the ‘weight’ and carrying it so well to keep traditions alive for your brother. Happy holidays 🙂

  2. What a sweet and thoughtful story–it sounds like you filled the awesome shoes. 🙂 Happy Holidays!

  3. Thanks ladies – happy holidays to you, also!

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