When I was 10 years old my grandmother flew from London to California to give me a gift.
She had told me just a few weeks before Christmas how much I would love this gift she has for me.
when she arrived at our home she stood in our living room near the Christmas tree with an oval looking object that was in her hand. covered with a white sheet.
I immediately begin to jump up & down. Excited about what the present may be.
My mom's face begins to turn red due to excitement.
My father on the other hand, well he fell asleep.
"What is it!!" I say proudly
My grandmother takes the sheet off of the oval object as if she was a magician.
There it was a bird in a cage!
My face automatically changes from excitement to confusion.
My mother saw the confusion across my face so she nervously said "wow Christa it's a bluejay!!"
My grandmother excitedly says "Yes & it's all yours!!"
I still stand in a frozen position with a loss of words. How am I gonna take care of a bird, I'm only 10years old!
My mother quietly said to me "say something Christa"
"Um thanks, grandma!"
My grandmother laugh & says "you're quite a welcome sweetie merry Christmas, now observe."
My mother slightly kicks my father in the knee so he could wake up.
My father jumps up quickly out of his sleep.
"Christa sweetie do not let the bird out of the cage, I just need to speak with your grandmother for just a moment"
As I observe the bird in the cage my father laughs & says "hey it's a blue jay! Good gift mother!"
My father then leaves me & the bird all alone in the living room.
The bird & I latch eyes for about 5secs then it looked away.
meanwhile, my mother & grandmother were having a discussion in the kitchen about my gift.
"Linda I think it's an incredible gift but she's 10 years old. I don't think she's responsible enough to take care of the bird"
"Oh, Mae darling she'll be fine."
"I don't think she will be she's a child!"
"Listen Mae if you feel that Christa is not responsible enough to take care of this bird then I think you should start teaching her to be."
"Be what?" My mother says confused.
"Responsible. She is gonna be an adult someday. she should learn at a young age responsibility!"
My father finally enters the kitchen where my mother & grandmother are.
He kisses his mother on the cheek & wishes her a merry Christmas.
He begins to yawn very loudly.
My mother acknowledges my father sarcastically by saying "Are you awake now?"
My father not noticing my mother's sarcasm responds "yea thanks for asking honey"
"Honey your mother & I was just having a conversation about Christa's gift."
As my father reaches into the cabinet to give himself a mug he responds "Oh good it's a wonderful gift mother! It's better than the gifts we got her!"
"Well thank you, sweetheart. Your wife on the other hand thinks it's a bit mature for Christa!"
My father slowly sips the hot chocolate that he had made for himself.
"Whys that sweetie it's magnificent!"
My mother becomes angry & starts to feel that my father isn't on her side during this discussion.
"Because Tom she's 10 years old! Christa doesn't remember to clean her room let alone take care of a bird!"
My grandmother begins to gather her belongings as she looks at her watch.
"Well, I have to get going, Merry Christmas."
Before my grandmother leaves she stops in the living room where I am & whispers to me "Merry Christmas"
As I kiss her cheek she proceeds to walk out of the door while my parents wave her goodbye.
My father smiling & waving my mother frowning & waving.
Later on in the day my mother & father put the bird in my room on top of my dressing, which was near my window so that the bird could at least look outside.
As I dig my hands in the bag of bird food to try to feed the bird. The bird food spattered all over my bedroom floor.
"Oh no, sorry Bluejay"
The bird stares at me as I try to pick up as much as I could off the floor.
"Bluejay is your name"
I say as I open the cage to feed him with my bare hands.
The bird looks at my hand but does not try to eat the food out of my hand.
I reach a little farther towards the bird to see if he would eat it but no he did not.
I begin to cry in my parent's room.
"Mommy! Daddy! Bluejay isn't eating!"
My mother & father jumps up immediately& runs into my room.
"What do you mean he isn't eating?"
My mother asks cautiously
My father then notices that blue jay is not in his cage.
"Wait! Where's the bird?"
while my mother & I confusingly look at my father we turn our eyes to the cage & blue jay wasn't in his cage.
I had realized at the last minute that I left his cage open when I ran into my parent's room.
My mother automatically becomes startled.
"Oh my God, where's the bird?!"
My father runs into the upstairs hallway to see if he had seen bluejay up on the ceiling.
Once he realized that bluejay was not upstairs he then proceeded downstairs.
My mother has a complete meltdown about me & my bird.
"Ugh, I knew this was gonna be a bad idea! It probably flew outside in the snow oh poor birdie it's probably frozen to death!"
As my mother goes on & on about how she felt it was such a bad idea for my grandmother to give me a bird for Christmas.
My father yells from the bottom of the steps.
"I found Bluejay!"
My mother & run downstairs immediately.
My father stops us at the bottom of the steps & whispers "not so loud."
My mother whispers "where is he?"
My father points his finger toward the kitchen.
"He's eating bread."
My father says.
My mother confused says "I thought the bird couldn't eat Christa?"
I shrug my shoulders.
My parents & I walk slowly toward the kitchen.
My mother whispers "wait how are we gonna catch the bird?"
My father grabs a medium square box that was near the tv set.
My father held the square box up in the air as if it were a trophy!
"Are you sure that's gonna work, Tom?"
"I don't know but it's worth a try"
My parents & I finally got blue jay back into his cage, although it took hours for us to do so.
The day after Christmas I took blue jay outside with me while I play in the snow.
He was in his cage on our patio.
As I lay on the snow making snow angels I yell "look blue jay I'm making snow angels!"
I get up from the snow, shake the snow off of my coat & pants. I make my way into the house to tell my parents about how much fun I was having in the snow while I leave footprints of snow all over the house.
I enter the kitchen where my parents were cooking supper.
"Mommy!, Daddy! Look I was playing in the snow!"
"That's nice sweetie!" My mother says
"Yea & blue jay was watching me from the patio"
My mother stops cutting the onions & pauses.
"Honey where's blue jay now?"
My father asked me
"He's in his cage on the patio"
My mother & father both run outside to grab blue jay.
"Honey blue jay can not be outside in this kind of weather!" My mother says
"I thought he was ok in his cage"
My father tells me to get changed for supper.
My mother & father walk into the kitchen arguing.
My mother slams the tomato on the cutting board & as she yells she waves the knife in the air with rage!
"Honey just relax"
"Relax! How can I relax?! I told your mother that this bird was a bad idea!"
My father becomes terrified while my mother is continuing waving the knife in the air.
"I know but what was I suppose to say to my mother. It would've hurt her feelings if we would've told her to take the bird back to London with her."
"But Tom can't you see! Christa is gonna kill that bird!"
My father grabs the knife out of my mother's hand & tries to comfort her.
"She'll be fine I promise ok"
He then kisses my mother on the forehead.
let's just say that my father's promise to my mother was not kept.
For new year's day, I took blue jay out of his cage so that he could see the fireworks a little better from my window. That didn't go too well he flew out of my room until he made it downstairs.
My parents had guests over for new year's & blue jay startled them by jumping into the bowl of fruit while they were all sitting at the dining room table.
My mother starts to scream as blue jay flies all around her & the guests.
There was another time blue jay accidentally was trapped in the washer machine.
I let blue jay out of his cage in my room as I play with my dolls.
My mother screams from the bottom stairs "Christa bring your hamper down so I can wash your clothes!"
I grab my hamper & make my way down to the basement as my mother told me to. Not knowing that blue jay flew into my hamper with my dirty clothes.
My mother takes the hamper out of my hand & dump it into the washer machine. I return to my bedroom to continue playing with dolls when all of a sudden I didn't blue jay flying around like he usually does.
I look all over my room for him hysterically.
"blue jay! Where are you!"
Meanwhile, in the basement, my mother is humming while she puts laundry powder into the washer machine.
She closes the washer machine so she can make her way back upstairs until she noticed a piece of clothing was left behind.
She opens up the lid to the washer machine & there he was swimming in the washer machine with laundry powder-covered all over him.
My mother screams & says "CHRISTA!!"
I heard my mother yell my name out in vain from upstairs & then I noticed that blue jay must've been found.
A month later my mother & father had told me that my grandmother will be visiting today & I couldn't wait to see her tell her how much I loved Blue jay as a pet.
When she finally arrived at our home she greeted me with a kiss, alongside my mother & father.
"Where's Blue jay?"
She had asked
" he's upstairs in my room"
"& have you been treating him well?"
I shake my head very fast.
My grandmother can tell by my nervous reaction that I was not doing such a good job.
She walks closer to me & says
"Are you sure?"
My mother chimes in
"Well of course she's taking care of blue jay, I made sure of it!"
"Well, I hope so because if not I'll have to take him away."
"Mother I thought that blue jay was a gift"
"Yes son he was but if Christa isn't responsible enough then I must take him away."
My mother rolls her eyes
"Oh please because when I told you this was a bad idea giving our daughter a bird as a pet you looked at me as if I were joking"
"Well yes but I thought by now she would've learned some responsibility"
My mother becomes frustrated with my grandmother because she mentioned that my mother was making poor choices while raising me.
"Don't you dare criticize my parenting skills!"
My mother grabs my mother to calm her.
"Honey she didn't mean like that"
My mother pushes my father off of her.
"Yes, she did you know what if you want your bird back then fine I'll go upstairs & grab him for you!"
My mother begins to walk upstairs until my grandmother says "no need to he will come as I say his name"
My mother stands at the bottom of the stairs confused.
"How is that even possible he's in a cage!"
My grandmother reaches in her purse & pulls out a harmonica & begins to play harmony.
"Blue jay!" She says & sticks out her index finger.
Blue Jay comes flying down the stairs & lands on my grandmother's finger.
My mother & father becomes terrified.
I jump up & down "it's magic!"
My grandmother walks up to me as blue jay sits on her finger.
"Please do not take this as a negative thing that I am doing Christa. I just wanted to teach you responsibility but perhaps you are too young to take care of blue jay your parents were right! When you become older I will bring him back to you"
I stand in the living room teary-eyed.
My grandmother pulls blue jay near me & says "he wants to say goodbye"
Blue Jay flew off of my grandmother's finger & flew on top of my head. I begin to giggle as blue jay plays in my hair.
"Bye blue jay"
My grandmother finally exits our house & my parents still stuck as a statue.
From that day I learned something.
I learned that I should be more responsible when it comes to things that I own.
My grandmother did not break her promise she brings blue jay back to me now that I am 16 years old.
& I must say things have gotten better.