Question: Should Miss Manuel Get A Fish for the Classroom?
The Best Christmas Gift Ever Received...
My best Christmas gift started when my dad brought me to watch The Lion King in the movie theatre, way back in 1994. I loved the movie so much that I wanted a pet lion. After all, my older sister was convinced she was Princess Jasmine and wanted a tiger as a pet, so why couldn’t I get a pet lion? I kept wishing my mom and dad would bring me to the pet store and I would pick out a baby lion cub, like the movie, and I would be able to lift it over my heard like Rafiki did in the movie. Cut me some slack, I was 5 years old; anything was possible... except having a dangerous, not to mention wild, animal as a household pet. I eventually learned from my Kindergarten teacher my family and would be eaten if I had a pet lion.
I was shopping in a big store with my family and after complaining my mom and dad were taking too long shopping for our Christmas clothes (that’s another story), I was given a the opportunity to look at the toy section with my sister. The toy section of that store was amazing! We had to go down one whole level where the entire floor was dedicated to toys. There were rows of toys and an entire shelf of Tickle-Me-Elmos, the hottest toy that year. After setting all off those Elmos, my mom and dad immediately gave my sister and me a time out. I sat there with my sister, scowling and frowning, I saw it: a Lion King Simba stuffy. I asked my dad if I could have the toy if I behaved for the rest of the night. He said no. I asked him again, I told him this was my chance to have a pet lion that wouldn’t eat me. He told me I didn’t need the toy right now because we were shopping for Christmas clothes and not for toys.
I was crushed. When I was denied my pet lion the first time, I accepted this sad truth, and by accept, I mean with a tantrum and LOADS of moping and crying. I had a full meltdown; I cried until I couldn’t breathe. As a little kid, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to have that toy. I was so angry; I hated my dad for not getting that toy for me.
I figured if my dad didn’t get me that toy, I would complain to God. I prayed for that Simba toy. Every time we prayed the rosary, I would end my prayer with, “Dear God, please let me get the Simba toy I want.” I never believed in Santa Claus, but a kid my class told me about him, and I figured why not get the extra help to get me that toy. So I made a list, I asked for that Simba toy, a pet stegosaurus, or a pet dinosaur (I was moving out of my Lion King phase and into dinosaurs). I knew it was a long shot because no one told me that Santa only visited kids who were polite to their families, well-behaved and didn’t cry when they didn’t get what they wanted.
Christmas Day finally came and it my turn to open my presents. I had forgotten all about my quest to get the Simba toy, and was cranky that I to wear a matching Christmas dress with my siblings. I opened my first present and there was a toy stegosaurus. It was awesome! The legs moved and its back plates scratched my face, just like the real stegosaurus did when defending itself. I saw a poorly-wrapped present in the corner with my name on it. It was from Santa. When I peeled away the green wrapping paper, I saw it: the Simba toy I always wanted! I yelled as loud as I could and started to cry. I couldn’t believe it! It was the best Christmas present ever!
I took that toy everywhere around my house. I even jumped on my grandma’s couch pretending to be crazy Rafiki, lifting Simba over my head. I made sure it never touched the floor or got dirty, which was a big deal, because I was a very messy kid. When my family had to move to Canada, I had to leave many of my toys behind and was only allowed to bring some toys with me. Guess which toy I first grabbed: Simba. I’m a grown-up now, and I still have that Simba toy. Growing up, I was never close to my dad because he was always away on a flight; but it is the one good memory I have of my dad, even though we don’t talk to each other anymore. I still have that Simba toy with me; he is safely kept in my closet, still making sure he doesn’t get dirty.
Write me a scary story.
Luckily, Montreal is very tourist-friendly, I was able to speak some English there, although I tried to practice my French. I must say, if you think speaking French in front of the class is scary, try speaking it to the Francophones (native French speakers) of Quebec! We walked around Old Montreal and visited Notre Dame Basilica. We tried to visit Cathedral Notre Dame Bonsecour (the Cathedral of Our Lady of Good Counsel), but it was getting pretty late and we had to drive home. Which was too bad, because I would have loved to see it and say a prayer for our school. Plus, representing O.L.G.C. all the
Hanging out around Ottawa was amazing! I biked along the Rideau Canal, and I saw the Parliament buildings and the Terry Fox statue that was outside the building. We ended up biking into Gatineau, Quebec, which is across the Ottawa River.
Fun fact: The Canadian flag that flies on Parliament Hill is known as the Peace Tower.