old country house blog


Dear Santa,

My firstborn son, as you know is 18 and a senior in high school. Perhaps because he is our eldest, he believed in you longer that his siblings did and sometimes,  I think he still does. Or maybe it is that he believes in magic. And always has.


Once, when he lost a tooth, I was so tired that I handed my husband an envelope, a dollar, and a container of glitter (everything is more fun with a little glitter sprinkled on top)  and I asked my tired spouse if he would pull my shift this time. He agreed.

The next morning, my big toothless boy came to the breakfast table exclaiming,

“Mommy LOOK what the tooth fairy brought me!!!”

I looked down and saw – an envelope, with a dollar and A CONTAINER OF GLIITTER INSIDE.

Worried that the jig was up…. I asked slowly and carefully…

“Hmmm, why do you think the Tooth Fairy gave you a WHOLE container of glitter??”

To which my happy toothless boy replied,

“UM DUH!!! She KNOWS how much I love glitter?!!!” and he skipped off.

He believes.


Last night, the kids were giving us their Christmas lists, complete with website links and photos and when I asked my 18-year-old for his list…. he said,

“ALL I want is a puppy!!!”

My husband without hesitation said , “NO!”

“But why??? !t is ALL I want!! It is ALL I am asking for..you don’t have to give me anything else!!!”

My mind started playing tricks on me..in front of me stood this tall, handsome almost man…but all I could see was the boy…his wide hazel eyes…all gap-toothed smiles full of wonder and belief…and begging for a Game Boy.

I reminded him, gently, that while I too would LOVE a another puppy, something to snuggle and take care of…someone to fill the hole left by Dash’s disappearance…( and soon enough –  His) – that puppies are babies, and that he would be leaving his puppy for college, too soon, and that even if he really, really had the best intentions… that with school, and soccer and friends and life that the puppy might be more of a challenge than any of us could rise to…right now.

He sighed. and said…

“All I REALLY want for Christmas ….is to know where I am going to college. Even if you gave me a million dollars, until I know about college…I don’t want anything.”

 I have always parented from the platform of support and love and encouraging “you can be anything you put your mind to.” I believe that the world will teach him enough hard lessons that my JOB is to be his safe haven. I know he will get into college, some college and I could tell him that in the big picture it is just 4 – hopefully wonderful – years… but he will figure that out soon enough. He will wonder after all of this wishing and dreaming and studying and waiting and wanting..”Is this it?” and he will have to dig deep to find purpose and meaning and  the REAL magic he is capable of….and he will learn how deep his love can go. And he will know he has everything. But for now


I am seriously considering the puppy.


  1. One of life’s magic moments last night. Terrific re-telling and perspective. Love you and the kids very much. No puppy.

  2. LOL! I needed the tooth fairy story today and your beautiful musing on your role as a mom. (I’d totally be considering the puppy, too, if I were in your shoes…even though we have two dogs already! There’s a kind of giddy, throw-care-to-the-wind crazy–perhaps based on total exhaustion—that goes with having 3+ kids.) 🙂

  3. Your son sounds so much like my oldest daughter!! I truly think that deep down she does still believe and she is the same age and is in the very same boat! The whole college process is exhausting and puts so much added stress on them! Good luck to your son (and to you!). Maybe you can put off the puppy till after his first semester of college. See if he still wants it then?

  4. Loved the tooth fairy story! My son is a freshman in college this year and he & his older sister, a senior in college wanted a puppy last year after our dog passed away. And guess what, we got one and he is 8 hours ago via car…..but the 1st thing he does when he comes home is to see and play with is dog, daisy, our 70 lb black lab puppy/dog. It is so worth the puppy hassle to see both my kids excited like little kids when they come home!!! Enjoy his “last year home” with him!!!!

    1. Tates face when he saw the puppy was so worth and poo poo clean ups or exhaustion from having this baby in our home. and he has brought so much joy into our home…nothing at all like a new baby…and the other dogs are so playful now too! happy new year!

  5. Truly.I had no intention, i mean that honestly..we were not getting a dog..and Cooper and I just went to “look” and were out the door when a new batch was brought in..7 big wooly Bernese Mountain dog looking pups and out from under the pile of fluff..crawled this tiny beagle puppy…the ONLY possible dog my husband would say yes to (and I was right). Our first dog was a beagle , she was hit by a car when Phoebe was not quite one. and my husband grew up with beagles…so BEAN was in the absolute right place and the absolute right time!!!!

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