We have been very naughty for our parents.
Yelled at our mother.
We had nearly driven her round the bend.
Caused disharmony between our parents.
Our mother had started to withdraw from everyone.
We annoyed her all the time to have our own way.
We had bicycles but we were reckless when riding them. Careless with their care.
We didn't appreciate the presents we were given.
Our mother could see what we were doing and warned us to keep off of the road. To stay in our own yard but we never listened to her. When she wasn't watching we rode out of the yard and down the road.
Most days, we were away for hours, never telling her where we were going. Or asking if we were allowed to go. Or tell her how long we would be.
Never a day went past without us grumbling, or fighting. We didn't let her have a moment's peace. She tried to get us to share our toys, and books. No. Not us. We wanted everything our way.
She gave up on us.
She kept mumbling, “Fight on. I hate peace.”
We were well fed but we were never satisfied. Each of us sneaked food from the cupboards, and fridge, when she wasn't looking. Things like biscuits, lollies, chips, and anything else we like to eat. When she came to find them to share between us all, the food was missing.
She was disillusioned with all of us.
On occasions, we sneaked away with her perfume, jeweler or anything else we knew we were not suppose to have. She seemed to know when things were missing. That was something we could never work out. We believed she had a sixth sense. We even helped ourselves to the money in her purse. She knew. We all tried to lie our way out of trouble, or blame someone else because we didn't want to take the blame.
Our mother tried to tell us what we were doing wrong but we never listened.
We believed we knew better than our parents did.
What we were told seemed to flow in one ear, and out the other. None of the advice sinking in.
We thought we were grown up. Yet, we hadn't reached double figures.
We wanted our own way.
Doing what we wanted without any thought for the consequences.
We began to hate our parents because we thought they didn't want us to have any fun.
When we were asked to clean out rooms, or do other small jobs, this task was too much trouble for us.
We'd start to fool around.
Start a fight to make her mad with us so we'd be sent outside to play.
That is what we had planned.
Work was not a word which applied to us.
“Ah, gee. Work, work, work. Mother, don't you think we need some time to play,” grumbled Serena.
“Yeah. Know what you mean. Make your bed. Clean the room,” Julie mimicked her mother.
Peter began to throw toys around from where he sat on top of the wardrobe.
“Mum. Peter won't help us,” squealed Julie, dodging a toy.
Within seconds there was an all out war with children screaming, and yelling. Our mother came to the door to see what we were doing.
“I know you don't want to do the work that's why you started the fight. You lunch will be late today, because I will have extra work to do now to clean up your mess. Out you go.” Our over worked mother began to clean the room.
She hadn't yelled at us. Just calmly told us what to expect.
Many times when our mother was upset with us she cried.
We didn't care.
With all of her worry she became sick.
The doctor told her it was due to nervous tension.
There came a change in her attitude.
She didn't yell at us any more.
Didn't ask us to do our work.
Our mother made sure we were clothed, and fed.
She locked away all her feelings inside so she wouldn't be hurt further.
All weekend, our mother didn't speak to us just kept on doing her work. Meals were set on the table but she didn't call us to come to eat. She allowed us to venture in when we were hungry to find the meal waiting on the table. Most times the food had cooled.
She settled into a calm world of her own. She was switched off from all the troubles of the world. Looked like she had no worries at all. Mum may have been in the house but her mind was miles away.
Our father began to worry.
He knew something was wrong so he began to ask questions.
“Do you children know what is troubling your mother. Have you been doing all the things you have been asked to do?”
We all looked innocent at him.
All five of us looked him in the eye, and lied.
“Yes. We have been doing our work.”
None of us wanted to be in any trouble.
We knew we were safe.
Mother wouldn't spill on us.
We all lied through our teeth to save our own hides.
“There must be some reason she has lost the light of life from her eyes. He love has been replaced with bleakness.” Our father looked puzzled.
One night when we were up to our old trick while our mother washed the dishes, the racket we were making, made her so angry she couldn't stay quiet a moment longer.
She turned toward us with anger in her eyes her silence broken
“Right. I have had enough of your nonsense. You all think you are very smart but you're not. You have done your dash. You won't be receiving any presents for Christmas. I don't think your father buy you any either when I tell him what you all have been doing. I defiantly know Santa Claus won't bring you any presents. I wish Santa Claus would take me to the North Pole. Then we would see who was going to do all the work. Not one of you are ever thankful for what you receive. You can all go to your room, and stay there.”
Her angry eyes flashed at us while she yelled.
She pointed her hunger in the direction of the rooms.
Her finger was like a sword slashing through the air.
We rushed to our room.
Quickly shut the door behind us.
What our mother said to us that night stayed in the back of our minds.
Christmas was coming closer.
Mum still didn't have any Christmas spirit.
She didn't do any cooking for us to have over Christmas.
No present appeared in the house.
On Christmas eve we kicked up a stink.
We made our father so made he lost his temper with us.
Everyone was on the receiving end of his tongue when he lashed out at us.
On Christmas morning, we were out of bed early to see what presents we had received.
Our parents were asleep when we quietly stole from our bedrooms to the lounge room.
We opened all our presents.
We didn't have the decency to thank them for the presents.
We left a paper mess all over the lounge room floor.
All day we didn't worry about helping our parents. Mother worked hard to put lunch on the table but we didn't want to eat. We were too full of the lollies, and chips, from our Christmas stockings.
“You had better eat something now. The food won't be here later when you are feeling hungry,” said our mother.
“We don't want any more,” we complained. Much later we found out our mother had spoken the truth when our stomachs began to ache from all the junk food.
When we were in bed our subconscious mind seemed to tell us,”You children have been very naughty. You have all treated your mother very poorly.” The the speech which our mother had made a while back kept getting louder, swimming around in our minds.
Our stomachs churned around.
The voice of mother kept repeating, “I wish Santa Claus would take me to the North Pole.”
Our dreams were all in a jumble.
We didn't know what was true.
Or what wasn't true.
In our dreams, or were they nightmares.
We woke up on Boxing Day morning to find our mother wasn't there.
We rang everyone we knew to try to find her but no one was able to help.
Our mother had vanished.
What we hadn't found in our panic was the large white envelope under the Christmas tree addressed, “To Whom This May Concern.”
Our father opened the envelope and read the letter to us.
I have taken your mother with me. I have had to make a special trip back from the North Pole to collect her because I saw you did not treat her with proper respect. You all have worried her sick this past year. Disobeyed her every wish. Broken all the family rules. Destroyed the love she has for you. Broken the ten commandments. Your mother tried to keep you free from harm but you didn't see it that way. Your eyes were clouded with what your thought you wanted. My elves need someone to look after them. To love them. Maybe now, you will understand what you have lost. When you have changed your ways I will return your mother to you.
Our father slowly folded the letter.
He stared into space not seeing any of us.
He was disgusted.
We were sad to hear what had been in the letter.
We tried to change our ways.
During the year we received letters from our mother at the North Pole. She told us how much she enjoyed her work with Santa Claus, and his elves. How they appreciated what she did for them.
“Everyone up here is always very happy even when they are working. No one argues. It is a pleasure to work for people who never complain about what I do,” wrote out mother.
Christmas arrived, at last.
We prayed we had been good enough for Santa Claus to return our mother to us.
We decorated the Christmas tree which stood near the fireplace in the lounge room.
We put presents under the Christmas tree for our parents.
There was even a present for Santa Claus.
On Christmas Eve we went to bed early so we'd be awake early to find if our mother had been returned.
We mad sure our rooms were clean, and tidy before going to bed.
On Christmas morning we rushed into the lounge room to see if our mother had been returned.
We all turned as one with sad, sorrowful faces, to return to our bedroom.
We looked into our parent’s bedroom when we were passing.
Mother was in bed cuddle up with our father.
To us, the dream was real.
We ran to our parent's bedroom to see if our mother was there. “Mum, Mum,” we yelled as we ran.
“What's wrong. Where's the fire,” our parent's asked, with concern in their voice.
“There's no fire. We had this bad dream Santa Clause had returned last night to take you away,” we all mumbled.
“As you can see I'm still here. What made you have such a dream.”
“The other night you said,'I wish Santa Claus would take you away',” we replied.
“I was only trying to make you understand you have to behave. Not to be nasty all the time. You are old enough to know you should help people, not upset them to have your own way,” our mother told us.
“We will try to be more helpful in the future,” we said. “And we'll eat all our meals.”
“We'll see,” said mother, over the tops of our heads while she cuddled all of us.
The truce didn't last long.
Over the years there were many which were broken.
Even when our mother yelled at us we knew she still loved us all.
She would always be there for us in the good, and the bad, times.