Right now I’m living that scene that, I think, we all play in our heads when we think about this holiday season. Crackling logs in the fire-place. Mug of hot cocoa in my hand. The house is dark except for the Christmas tree lights that cast the strangest shadows on the walls. And it’s so quiet except for the Christmas music humming from the other room. The all-Christmas radio station is playing the Charlie Brown Christmas song. I pray next they play Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
As wonderful as the world seems right in this moment, my heart is still so sad for the families in Connecticut who lost their babies and their loved ones. Not only sad…but…somewhat…guilty. I will wake Christmas morning with my children and my husband and we’ll open presents and eat cinnamon rolls and take afternoon naps while there’s still wads of wrapping paper and turned over bags and busted up boxes all over the floor. And perhaps those families will do the same, but someone will be missing. I keep thinking if that happened to my son, how would I cope? What would I do with the Christmas presents I’m so very excited to give him? How would I feel putting away his stocking and his very first Christmas ornament? Could I hold back my tears and try to push pass the mourning long enough for my other kids to enjoy the day? I pray those families can. I pray so so hard that they find peace.
Maybe I also feel guilty because since this tragedy, I have been able to appreciate everything the busy month has brought. We caroled, we paraded, we baked until it was obvious the flour would still be in the cracks on the floor in June. I’ll admit, there were times when it was all too much. I’m reminded by the shiny presents under the Christmas tree.They were a pain to find…and to find on sale! A pain to lug around the store, a pain on my checkbook, a pain to get up into the attic so curious little eyes couldn’t peek! But now they’re wrapped and tagged and I feel so blessed to be able to give my children so much. They do deserve it. They make me so happy that I would give those little monsters the moon if I could. They say once you’re the parent it’s up to you to create the Christmas magic, but I don’t know. I think they give me just as much magic. It resonated in my 6-year-old’s eyes when he got a special video e-mail from Santa reminding him to be a good boy. I know this could be the last year he truly believes. It breaks my heart…but it’s time. And it echoed in the breathless gasp of my little girl when, during the city parade, she saw one of her favorite Christmas characters. “The Gwinch looked at me!” It was as if she’d just met someone famous. The Christmas spirit also rings loudly through the house every time I find Jack Henry trying to climb the presents under the tree! He’s managed to open a couple. Christmas morning is sure to be interesting!
I’m so thankful for the life I have. And I think my New Years Resolution will be to keep a hold of that understanding. Instead of counting the minutes till bedtime, I’ll really listen to Tommy’s crazy made-up songs and Laurie’s silly tales about ‘Jimmy’ and to Jack’s wild growling and babblings…and even to my husband’s incessant fish tank dreams. I just want to be with them, and let them know how much I love them every single day.
For now though, I’m going to shut off the music and lights, check one last time on my three sweetie-pies, and go have a good Christmas snuggle with my honey-bun.
Thank you all for reading. Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.