Facebook has a way of reminding you of the good bad and ugly that you’ve lived throughout your years on social media…a ghost of Christmas past if you will. All of your words and pictures return to either delight or humiliate you and usually we pick the most savory to re-share.
Well, I’m here to blow the lid off of my perfect seasonal scenarios, my humorous holiday cards and my chosen merry memories. I have re- read my past and every year my comments seem to consist of the same seasonal sulking :
“I can’t wait for Christmas to be over.”
“I’ve put off shopping again because I’m dreading the crowds”
“I have a Christmas food hangover. I will be so glad to get back into a routine ”
And … many other bah-humbug variations of my Scroogie self.
The truth is, I’m not here to make it right. I’m not here to tell you how I was mistaken and how I’ve suddenly seen the twinkly lights. The truth is something different all together.
The afore mentioned nasty nuggets were BC (before children) and now things are a a bit altered. Now, I would give up all of my everything just to watch the glitter in Calvin’s eyes that shines brightest during Christmas. Judah doesn’t really understand Christmas yet and Augie is still trying to adjust to life outside the womb….but Calvin, with his Christmas concerts, and constant questions about his beloved Rudolph? Be-still my heart. It’s freaking intoxicating. I love the way he tries so hard to be good because Santa is watching (our shelves don’t even have an elf yet) and how he believes in every part of the season with his whole damn heart. The way he loves baby Jesus and His story is special and spectacular. Living Christmas through his eyes is truly my favorite gift of all. Unfortunately there is a cynic in me. I recognize how with every passing season, his beautiful belief will fade the tinsiest bit and It makes my heart hurt.
Then there is the family and friend part of Christmas. I love how everyone is kind and how we all dole out more hugs and holiday cheer. There is so much joy in the Christmas parties where everyone shows up with their best clothes and best foot forward. I love all of the togetherness and trading stories of tradition.
It’s painful making sure everybody gets the pretty card and the perfect gift. But, I am reminded of no pain no gain and how the gains are so enchanting. It’s a lot of work cooking the most delicious culinary creations and preparing for the parties. It is so much getting ready that sometimes I’ve exhausted myself before the whole celebration has commenced.
Preparation steals my zero credit card balance, costs me hours of sleep and takes time that I could have spent snuggling my little baby as I watch him growing right in front of my busy eyes… But somehow I am ready or I have to be ready because it’s here and the traditions are about to keep traditioning… And I am tired or maybe I’m not. It doesn’t matter because either way it all still flies by in a hazy blaze of colorful paper.
As I trekked the remnants out for garbage day this morning, I felt the achy pang of it all coming to an end. My perfectly wrapped gifts were now shreds of boxes and paper in a heap at the end of the driveway. My family is torn apart like the paper as my parents head to Florida for four months and my in-laws follow closely behind. We will not all be together again for a long time. And I can’t help but think that as everyone gets older, we will have a merry little Christmas next year ONLY “if the fates allow.”
So this Christmas holds hints of my disenchanted Facebook posts from Christmas past. It’s so much good and so much work and then it’s gone. I feel the void that I’ve felt on Christmas night since I was a kid…. When I would climb onto the top bunk in my brother’s bed because it all just felt so lonely when it was over.
I feel that now and I feel something else too. I beg the universe and fate and God and whoever will listen to let the Christmas spirit stay still just a little bit longer. I’ll take the rushing, and spending and lack of sleep if it all just stays still. I hate letting go. I hate letting go of childhood magic and warm fuzzy family time. I hate it more than filling out address labels and fighting crowds. That memory maker that is Christmas has me all tangled up in the lights and the low and I wonder how I can just make it all last. I know everyday can’t be Christmas but I will try my damnest to put Christmas in everyday. It truly is so very worth the work. So, If you need me I’ll be handing out extra hugs, spreading cheer and hanging on to idealistic nostalgia for dear life.
First off, I’d like to say how good it was to see you again. It’s been awhile. I’ve pretty much spent the last five years being pregnant or taking care of infants and I think we both get that you being around all that is a terrible idea. Anyway, I love how we left off right where we started; how we didn’t miss a beat. It was just like old times. Thanks for those times by the way. Thank you for all the years of upping my confidence, lowering my inhibitions, improving my dance moves and making certain people more tolerable.You really helped me out in my younger years. I owe a lot of fun to you.
All that being said, I think we should probably stop seeing each other. It’s not you, it’s me. You are still you…The life of the party, the spiller of truths, the aphrodisiac of the night life. Me, however, I have morphed. I think I mentioned, I’m a mom now? and I’m not a new mom who is still under the disillusionment that her life will remain the same. I am a mom of 3….a 42 year old mom of 3. A 42 year old mom of 3 who are all under the age of 5. Yup. Would we have ever believed this back in the good ol’ days? Our lives run parallel these days. You on the fast track to fun with all of your flash and fabulousness while I am having a different kind of fun. I’m changing diapers, kissing boo-boos, and reading bedtime stories.I bet you can see how our lives do not intersect. The path that I’m on bears great responsibility and also comes with something called “mom guilt.” So, along with the headache that accompanied your evening companionship , I was adorned with shame, regret and embarrassment. For what? I am not sure. It’s not that we were dancing on tables or bringing home boys??? Nonetheless , because I have babies, you made me feel sad and sorry. It just doesn’t feel right to hang with you in excess anymore.
Now listen, if sometime I happen to be kid-less, on an all inclusive vacation, in Jamaica or Cancun, well, then,we can have a torrid affair. And maybe, just maybe ,when the kids are grown and have left the nest we can reconnect. Perhaps my husband and I will invite you to our home, out to dinner, to the movies??! But I’ll call you, don’t call me…because you belong to the free and I belong to my family.
Sincerely and without regrets,