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Christmas brings new family member
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Christmas morning is always a haze after staying up late on Christmas Eve, watching for Santa’s sleigh to fly over. It was especially hard to get going Christmas morning this year because I was up extra late the night before assembling one of Henry’s presents.

That’s one thing I dread about this time of year, assembling toys that claim there is “some assembly required.” That means you’re going to have to repent for your language and double up on your blood pressure medication since manufacturers are adept at making directions as complicated as possible and their drawings worse than stick figure doodling by a three-year-old, pretty well insuring you’re going to put the thing together backwards on the first try. And this year, there was even a new twist in their sick game of some assembly required as, after hours of trying to get the gaming chair I got Henry for Christmas to work, I read the fine print that said another part, which of course was not included, has to be purchased separately for the thing to work. Bah Humbug.

Anyway, just as soon as I slipped into that really restful, really peaceful part of sleep after collapsing on the couch following my battle with the gaming chair, I’m shaken awake.

“It’s Christmas!” Henry said with wide eyes. “Get up! It’s time to open presents.”

I roll over, recalling my battle with “some assembly required” from the night before. “Why don’t you just open your stuff and I’ll watch from here?”

“No. Get up!” he pulls me off the couch and immediately thrusts a gift into my hand. “This is for you.”

Shaking the sleep off, I begin opening my presents, the sound of paper ripping filling the room as everyone tears into their boxes. Meanwhile, my oldest son Jack and his girlfriend Cami come into the living room and join in the merriment. Still not exactly focusing, I noticed my wife moving around with her phone, focusing its camera on the couple. I pause from opening my presents. Maybe Jack got her something cool.

Then, what to my wondering eyes does appear but my son suddenly getting on one knee and opening a box.
“Will you marry me?” he asks, holding out the ring to Cami, who is sitting on the couch surrounded by wrapping paper on all sides. It was a proposal!

I’m assuming she said “yes” since she immediately reached out and hugged him and began crying.

Come to find out, my wife had known about his plan to pop the question for a while but they had kept me out of the loop. What? It’s not like I’m a newsman or anything. I can kinda keep a secret.

With the proposal rousting me wide awake, I was met by Henry who came up and gave me a hug out of the blue. He had found his assembled gaming chair and loved it.

“You’re a great dad,” he said through the hug. The anger from the night before melted away. It was a very Merry Christmas.

Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.