What goes “tic-tic-tic” and brings smiles of wonderment to the faces of toddlers? A wristwatch … or a pendant watch … or a pocket watch.
Ah, the joy of receiving my first wristwatch! Christmases in my childhood home brought lots of presents for me and my two younger brothers. We didn’t get many things throughout the year, except an occasional sand bucket in summer or coloring book in winter. So, the anticipation of birthdays and Christmas filled our minds.
On Christmas morning, our stockings held such treasures as tiny figurines, cars, craft supplies, yo-yos, and candies galore. Our tree stood on top of the platform, so no gifts sat under it. Dad and Mom kept those hidden upstairs in their bedroom. After we unloaded our stockings, the big reveal would come. Jitters and wiggles abounded when Dad walked out of their bedroom carrying a giant Charmin toilet paper box, sometimes going back for another.
From the depths of those boxes, he or Mom pulled gift after gift. Puzzles and books, dolls and model cars, clothes and more. And when they emptied the box, the moment for the “big one” came. For there was always a big one, the major gift of Christmas. Once, I got Dancerina, a magical doll that, with one push or pull on the button hidden in her tiara would twirl or bourrée across the floor. The boys got “boy things.”
Then came the year of “The Lesson.” Christmas morning came with excitement in our hearts, “Jingle Bell Rock” on the record player, and wrapping paper on the floor. It was time for the “big one.” We sat on the living room floor while our parents brought the gifts down. Huge boxes hid their faces as they both came down the steps. If our eyes had gotten any bigger, they’d have popped out of their sockets.
Mom placed one big box in front of one brother; Dad put a second giant box in front of the other. The boys ripped the paper off in one second to reveal race car tracks with real motors.
I watched, smiling with happiness for them. Then I looked at my parents, expecting them to return upstairs to get mine.
Instead, Mom handed me a small package. And when I say “small,” I’m talking small enough to hold a single bar of soap. Talk about disappointment. I was shocked. Dismayed. And just plain mopey.
I don’t remember which of my parents said it, but one spoke words I’d never forget: “Big things sometimes come in small packages.”
I sighed a little and opened the gift slowly to drag out the inevitable. I don’t know what I expected, but when I opened the tiny box, the world changed. Christmas angels sang, bells rang! Delight poured through my heart and soul!
I had a wristwatch! And not just any dime store watch, but a Cinderella wristwatch, with a sparkly light blue band, a pink face, and Cinderella in her ball gown. Delicate hands pointed at the numbers to show the time. A tiny dial pulled out to wind it … but not too many times or it would get sprung, my dad warned.
I had a wristwatch of my very own! And I learned a valuable lesson, one I repeated for each of our daughters when they got old enough to wear a watch.
And yes, it ticked! But today, you wouldn’t believe how many wristwatches don’t tick.
When I went through menopause, something in my molecular system changed. Something in my skin now “eats” away at various metals. I can’t wear necklaces or earrings for more than a few hours. But wristwatches are the worst.
Because of this, I have to buy new watches every few months. And yes, before you ask, I’ve tried leather bands, clear nail polish and tape on the metal, and ones with bands you change, which worked well until they stopped making them! And one time, for fun, I bought a kids’ watch with a plastic band, a princess, and a button to push for light and music.
Now, in itself, this wouldn’t cause a problem. Drop in at the local department store and pick up a cheap watch. No trouble there.
Except I have grandchildren. Soon after each grandson was born, I would hold my watch to his tiny ear each time I laid him on the changing table. As they grew, they began grabbing for my arm the moment I walked in the door. When our most recent, a now-one-year-old granddaughter, got to have this special grandma experience, she added the delight of the cutest smile when she detects the “tic-tic-tic.”
So, you can see why I must pick a watch that ticks. And it’s getting harder. Digital watches don’t tick! Smart-watches don’t tick! And I need a new one soon, so prayers for an easy find, please!
PS: Do you realize how many strange looks a person gets when she picks up twenty or thirty watches from the store shelves and holds them to her ear?
How many types of watches have you had in your life? Ever had any that weren’t wristwatches or … horrors! … that didn’t tick? Share your stories with us!