How I Miss…But Oh How I Love

I miss how you used to grasp my finger instinctively like little newborns do. But now I love the way that you and I hold hands.


I miss  serving you spoonfuls of mushy bananas off a tiny silver spoon. But now I love how the conversation rolls with you, my very  favorite lunch date.


I miss how you used to clutch to me as I’d spin you around the swirls of the pool. But I watch you kick your ungraceful legs  through the too chilly water and it fills my own pool up with pride.


And I miss the wiggle of your rolly thighs as I would attempt pajama time.. but the way you pick your own too small, out of season pajamas now ? Well that steals my heart every time.

I miss the way you used to sing “rain rain go away” as you stared up at me with your giant baby blues….But now you make up your own songs about our family, your brothers and yes, even sometimes poop. I serve  you side eye and inwardly giggle as I proudly celebrate your creativity.

I miss your scribbles on page after page carelessly flung free. Yet now I am enamored at how you meticulously brighten every corner of a picture making sure not to miss an inch.


I miss your baby smell, our sacred naps; you needing me.

I love how you collect boxes, fondly tend to your brothers; your independence.

And I love how you still line things up, refuse to throw things away or take off your shoes. I love how you still mimic  your daddy, worry like your mommy and how you sleep with us when you are scared.

I love how you’ve changed so very much and yet remained so much the same. And while your baby years were so dear to me, I wouldn’t wish them back you know?  For if I did I’d miss even more, the beautiful little boy that you’ve become today.

Happy birthday my darling. You are so very loved.


Hit By The Bus

Almost a year ago to the date my husband and I attended the Gigi’s Playhouse Gala.  We were privileged enough to listen to Gigi’s mom, Nancy Gianni, speak.  It was absolute inspiration, of course. It was also a check in with reality, as we  recognized  how much work there is to still do. Nancy equated her journey with her daughter to a bus ride.  She explained how some experiences are like driving the bus, some are like riding the bus and sadly, some are like being hit by that bus. I wrote about that Gala, (you can read it here.) I spoke of the driving and the riding on the bus, however,  at the time, I had very little to contribute in regards to the inevitable bus collision.  Since that naive night I’ve had some near misses…. There was the time that one doctor asked me if I had the test, or the time when the five year old girl called Judah ugly to her friend  (I can still feel the stinger on that one,) or there is even every time someone is careless with their language.  We’ve come away with some scrapes and some bruises but mostly we have escaped unscathed.

Today , I didn’t even have a chance to look both ways before I was hit head on, by a big, fat, heart-wrenching bus.

We switched dentists because we had to. So,  months ago I set us all up for appointments. Calvin’s and Judah’s were set for today. My husband was supposed to assist in playing zone but as luck would have it he had to work. So, I set off solo with a positive attitude and tales of amazing dentistry to keep Calvin’s anxiety at bay. Not necessarily good or bad…but I never told this office that Judah had Down syndrome. This was thee very first time I had ever done that. Bobby and I talked about it after. We didn’t try and purposely mislead anyone, it’s just not a part of who we are anymore. We used to be  all: ” we have a three year old and a baby with Down syndrome.” “Table for four please. Two adults, one toddler and one baby with Down syndrome” …But these days, we’re passed that. We’ve moved on to “yeah we have 3 boys under 5.” Down syndrome shows up now and then.  It’s  like when you catch a rainbow or see a deer in a field. We acknowledge it and take it all in and then we move on.  I was a bit apprehensive about not mentioning it, but truthfully, Judah is so well loved on in my circle it seemed unwarranted.


After we were in the  waiting room for over 20 minutes (and if I may say so, my children were absolute angels,) they called us back to a colorful room full of toys and stickers and prizes and bubble gum paste. Gah, I loved that stuff. Calvin really wanted Judah to go first. Cal can be timid and Judah is fearless so to me it seemed to make perfect sense. I agreed with Calvin but we were shut down and instead I had to help the hygienist coax Calvin into the chair. He did great! He was so brave. I know he was scared and that it hurt a little. I was the only one who knew that. Judah did great too. He sat on my lap, not making a peep, watching his big brother like a hawk, making sure he was not being harmed. It was adorable….Then the dentist came in, exchanged some pleasantries and asked me to step in the hall so Calvin could get x-rays.  All went south when she met me in that hall. It started off uncomfortable, it did not feel right and so my awkward   advocating began. I proudly announced,  “this is Judah. This is his first time. He should be good but sometimes he is leery around strangers. He is usually a pretty happy guy though.” And right on cue Judah flashed his most winningest smile, waved and said hi which sounds more like “aaaaaa.” So, of course, I clarified, “he’s saying hi.” *Crickets* My rambling continued, “ I know these little guys with Down syndrome (there I said it) sometimes have trouble with their teeth and his are a bit crooked…..” she stopped me. She said “you know, I’m not a true pediatric dentist so I’m going to have to refer him.” I became panicky.  Didn’t I just come out of a dentist office that resembled Toys-r -us? Then she boldly continued, ” you know, a special need should be sedated for treatment because they move around too much and they can injure themselves.

I felt myself starting to think: OH NO!!! I could hardly believe it. This cannot be, I thought. Nooooo!!!! Did she just call my kid “a special need?”  I think it’s happening to us. I was spinning and hot and frightened.  Truthfully. I actually thought that I could be imagining it all and that I was overreacting.  So I prodded as I pointed  to Calvin “does he need to be sedated too?” The answer was no and my unease was confirmed. My stomach immediately dropped clear to the floor. I replied with my chest puffed, “well Calvin cannot stay here. They will both need to go somewhere else.  Calvin will not stand for going somewhere different than his brother. ” Then… ” did you still want us to look at Judah today?” I replied, “well not if you aren’t comfortable.” And that was it. She was gone. I think that was it. I was so shocked that at this point I was already texting my husband “oh my God I think we just got discriminated against.” The hygienist returned and praised Calvin. She also asked if I wanted her to look at Judah just for today. I told her that I was just trying to get him used to the dentist and I didn’t need any treatment at the moment. I also repeated that she didn’t need to look at him if it made her uncomfortable. She was clearly nervous and trying to defend her dentist.   She said things like,  “I don’t think it is what you think” and then she mentioned something about Judah needing more than nitrous oxide” I again hoped I was wrong and tried to helped her clarify. I asked,  “oh so if Calvin needs treatment he will need more than nitrous too?” Again she said no.  I finally and calmly said as I was somehow driving on that road up high, ” Do you understand that is discriminatory? You don’t even know my baby. He could sit perfectly still like he has the whole time here. You don’t know. Thank you for taking such good care of Calvin, really thank you, but we can’t come here anymore. You understand that this  is discriminatory. “  (I felt like I uttered discriminatory a thousand times but I think I am too blurred to be sure.)  She gave an apprehensive laugh and the dentist walked in asking if we needed a referral.   I kindly responded “no thank you” and hurried out of that building with my three babies as fast as my feet could carry us. I couldn’t believe it. I sat in the parking lot: red, shaking, muttering, texting,  and ultimately , not able to really comprehend that Nancy was right… we just got hit by the bus.

That’s what happened, here’s how I felt:

Physically ill, so, so angry, hurt, confused, brave, proud, sad, and most profoundly; astonished. Maybe I set myself up for this moment? After all I have always shielded us. I always keep us around positivity when it comes to my son’s disability. Maybe I disillusioned myself right into the middle of oncoming traffic. All day long I started to notice his delays more than I ever had before. I tried like hell not to cry but I cried; more than twice, more than three times. I cried because he’s such an awesome kid and he doesn’t deserve to be judged solely by his almond eyes. I cried because I feel defeated; because I thought we were winning. I cried because my sometimes unrealistic determination made me think that maybe our world had moved on from such ignorance.


Here’s where I’m at now.

I  reached out to my people. Thank the good Lord for giving me so many amazing people. They helped and they started to heal the brokenness inside me. All of Judah’s warriors stepped up and reminded me that there is more good out there. I won’t say more good then bad because this person is not bad. This person is uninformed and sadly mistaken. I will not be revealing where this place is and who it is because it is not my goal to defame or ruin anyone. With the help of one of Judah’s biggest supporters, we will supply this business with information about what Down syndrome is and the correct language to use. The high road is made of dirt and gravel and potholes. It’s a hard road to take. But the destination is so much sweeter. It feels good here. The people with this heart warming disability make you want to take it.  The love of their spirit won’t allow you to go low.


Maybe we save this person? Maybe we don’t? In the end all we can do is stand together and grow bigger. My child has grown the most incredible garden of kindness I have ever seen.  It is fascinating! The enormity of  what his little life has done has performed the unthinkable… it is even healing  the wounds of being hit by a heart-wrenching bus.




Hi my name is Beth Craver  my husband out there is Bobby Craver and we have a two year old named Judah with Down syndrome. You may have noticed him gracing the Gala invite this year. I also have a debilitating fear of public speaking. I cry, shake and turn multiple shades of red. So if you see any of that going on tonight that’s why. But somehow I’m up here. I still can’t believe it but I am. And that is a testament to exactly how much my little boy has changed me.  After Heather called me to ask me to speak,   it took me twenty minutes to say yes to something I’ve been avoiding for 20 years. Judah has transformed me and Gigi’s has transformed me And That’s what I’m here to talk about tonight…

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For those of you don’t know me …we did not know Judah was going to have Down syndrome,  that is I never had the test.  I was very encouraged to get it because of my advanced maternal age and honestly,  we really debated it… but in the end, because  I had lost my teaching job and had no insurance at the time ,we decided to disobey the doctors wishes and forego it. Here’s the thing though…for nine straight months I worried about Down syndrome. I was consumed by it. I was absolutely convinced my son would have Down syndrome. I was in  a perpetual state of googling and those closest to me knew it was my biggest fear. I have learned since then that this is a thing. Many moms who did not get the test just knew anyway that their child was going to be born with Down syndrome. In fact,  looking back, I think that on some level maybe I never did that test because I didn’t want to have to make the difficult decision the doctors wanted me to make about my child’s value.

So when Judah was born I was lucky enough to have a  very good friend who is a nurse in the delivery room with me. She later recounted I  how had the most terrifying look on my face when I asked her “is he okay?” She answered with the warmest and truest “yes.”  and she was right but when I looked at my son and my husband looked at him, we instantly knew. We actually had some trouble convincing the doctors of what we already knew. The pain I felt is inexplicable. I can’t even describe how deep the ache was. That feeling of being in crisis…. Those of you who have had a baby with Down syndrome may know what I mean and those of you who love someone who had a baby with Down syndrome may understand, but it is tough to describe. I will never ever forget it. Most people say that they feel this way because they are grieving the loss of the baby they thought they were going to have. For me, this wasn’t the case. I expected my baby to have Down syndrome. It is the only baby I ever imagined. First off,I couldn’t actually believe my biggest fear came true. And also, I’m  pretty self conscious, and I have  areal need to be well liked,  so what I feared most is that we wouldn’t be loved. I thought my life as I knew it was over. …that friends would disappear and that we would be made fun of. I thought people would think my baby was ugly and that we would be some sort of pity or joke


Well, let me tell you, there was a revolving door of love at our house when we came home from the hospital. Friends and family brought meals, and gifts, and wine and tears and hugs and laughs.

We just had a little baby 5 months ago named Augie and when he was born I said to Bobby, I don’t know how we did it back then? How did we entertain all those people while caring for a newborn and absorbing a diagnosis? But back then we needed it. I needed to feel that love then I needed my people.   They dismantled my fears. They saved me…And I started to wonder if Down syndrome was the monster I made it out to be in my mind.

When Judah was just 20 days old, he was rushed in ambulance to the hospital with RSV. There was this medic and wish I got her name. She was so special to me.  I remember her straddling the ambulance gurney looking at Judah the whole way. She kept whispering endearments to him like “you got this buddy” and  “hang in there cutie” I remember being so perplexed. In fact I even said to her “do you know that he has Down syndrome?” She said she did and her eyes never left his. We remained in that hospital for 13 days….through Judah’s 1 month birthday , through Christmas Eve and Christmas… and we finally went home New Years Eve. The whole time the doctors and nurses worked tirelessly to save my baby,…some missed their very own family Christmas celebrations to be with my son. Again I was just so confused. I couldn’t quite understand because everything these doctors and nurses were doing was so out of line with how doctors looked at my child’s worth just 9 months earlier. And Again, I started to second guess what I thought I knew about Down syndrome.


When we left that hospital we were pretty much quarantined to our house during the winter months. Our very first outing was to to The mall on March 21st 2015. World Down syndrome day. I had heard of Gigi’s through a mutual friend and knew I wanted to be a part of this day to truly heal. I was terrified. I didn’t know what to expect. I guess I envisioned a support group of sorts. I pictured a lot of people asking about my baby and me telling my story.  I pictured crying and strangers telling me how sorry they were.  And so,I brought back up. I rallied all of my friends and family to support me. As we walked to the event I was so completely scared but I didn’t need to be. There was no sadness there. Everyone was smiling and laughing and happy balloons bopped all over the place. There was music and dancing and a boy with Down syndrome was raffling off prizes. The only time people asked about my baby was if they could hold him and they did.   It was inspiration at its finest and Gigi’s will always be that defining moment when I realized that I was misinformed  and that I was a part of something very special.


Nobody told me about all of the love . Nobody mentioned the good parts about this other world…where people take care of each other and believe in acceptance and kindness…And don’t even get me started about the person that Judah is. He makes us laugh and brings us joy every day. He amazes us every day.  That’s a whole other speech in itself. But No one tells you about all of these parts when you are a scared mom who decides not to do the test. I was so gravely wrong. I did not believe there were this many people in the world that cared about Down syndrome, let alone people in this room.  There is so much good….but there are also so many people out there who think the way I thought. I want to fix all of the people who believe what I believed.

So, I will continue to stand with Gigi’s  shaking and sweating and turning different shades of red until everyone in the world believes in people like Judah the way all of you do…thank you for that…. and thank you for having me tonight. Good night and God bless.

The Gift 

When I was a kid and Cabbage Patch kids were all the rage… I’m talking all the rage, like people beating each other up for them (that’s when you really know something is great) I, like every other kid in America, asked for one from Santa. Santa Claus did not deliver. I was devastated and heart broken. Instead, Santa did his very best and gave me a homemade, hand sewn, knock off , non-look alike, Cabbage Patch named Libby. I was mad at Libby for about ten whole seconds and then man, did I love on her hard. She went everywhere with me. Me and Lib were thick. Occasionally I would remember that she was not the real deal and be embarrassed by her falsities, however, love would always prevail and all of everything else would disappear.

I was pretty concerned about having a baby with Down syndrome. Even though now I know there are thousands of disabilities, Down syndrome seemed to be the one to torment me. People really spook you about that one. Never mind that I had a good friend who’s sister had Down syndrome or that an old boyfriend’s cousin had it too. Never mind that I wasn’t scared of either one of them and that I actually found them endearing. All of those goodie-goodie gum drops were tossed out in the trash when I thought that it could happen to me. The detriment of the possibility consumed me. And when it actually did happen,oh my how I fumbled. I spent quite a bit of time wondering how.  I was devastated, embarrassed and hurt. Judah’s big brother came to visit with his sweet big brother shirt on and it nearly killed me. This was NOT the little brother I wanted for my first baby boy. I became literally sick over it. I spent a little bit of time feeling sorry for myself and healing was a process.

I’m two years into the journey now. I’ve since had another boy and so that makes 3 darling little monsters for this mommy. While I simply adore all three of my sons, there is a fierceness in the way I love Judah; a fierceness that says “don’t mess with us!” Judah is my Scooby-doo, my Gilligan, my Beavis,my Ernie, my Oats, my Sonny and my Biden. We have something. People see it and I feel it. I am so in love with this little human that I am actually secretly mad about his independence. He is absolutely bound to do great things and leave me one day. 

All kidding aside, sometimes I can’t believe the way I have changed. I was moving bins of clothes around yesterday and I actually saw that old big brother shirt. I wept. I cried for how hopeless and hurt I was. I sobbed for what I didn’t know. That old pain is unforgotten. But now, I am not in the least bit scared anymore. In fact, I cannot wait to see this child every morning. He makes me laugh a thousand laughs a day and amazes me just as many times. I no longer wonder how this could have happened to me. Rather , I thank God everyday for giving me a gift of love that prevails and makes all of everything else disappear.

The Light

Do you ever just feel off? I’ve felt off for awhile now. I’ve chalked it up to winter blues. Seasonal effective disorder and all of that…..Or? or?  Could it be that I had a child three months ago and am still trying on rockstar mom for size . I’m wearing my full-time work suit ,crafty mom shirt , PTA mom attire, adult-fun  outfit and writer apparel.  As I am sure you would imagine, I’m failing; miserably. This is not a pity post, please…but currently we have  A strep throat, RSV,  sibling jealousy, ear infection, growth spurt kind of thing going on here and I have been known to heave hidden sobs  for a hot, hot minute. 
In any case, I haven’t been feeling it. In fact, I’ve been downright paranoid….wondering if I lost my little gratitude sparky spark for good.

This weekend while Bobby was down and out with strep and Judah had God knows what and Augie kept crying  , I went to get coping wine that went BAD (are you kidding?) I called it a night and the next morning turned to church. The homily spoke of light. Can others see your light?  Are you IT no matter what? Is it dim? Is it on? If not…..wait!!! If not? Here I’ve been figuring that  I’m a failure because the light went dim. My graciousness went missing. But the pastor speaking for the man Himself, is not saying “you’re a jerk,” or “you failure”  Instead he’s asking WHY? What part of your circuit is not connected? And  right there in the pew, I wept for me. Then I realized the silliness of weeping for being overwhelmed and then I wept for being selfish. After that, I decided to be the light! I’ve been just so self loathing and disappointed and bored with all of our ill will.  I actually went to church to collect holy water, which I did (in ziplock ware.) A little girl asked her mommy what I was doing and a mommy answered “well that’s none of your business ” to which I offered a desperate smile…The priest picked to speak of light on this day and I happened to go there to collect holy water and and a homily that acted as duct tape holding the flailing pieces of me together. I am smitten by it, to be full of a humbling guiding light for those who need it. It sets me free from being the flood light that I worry about. The one that makes me wonder when exactly  it went missing . I am not a beacon, I am a shepard and so I took  from the church what I needed…..

I carried home that holy water and said little prayers as I (probably not so sacrificially) finger sprinkled it out of its Tupperware around my house. Bobby with his strep throat was amused by me, but none the less committed to my cause. I became the light for our little family instead of part of its destruction. BE THE LIGHT.  Those three little words changed everything for me when I decided to shine for others. Miraculously, that dim candle light of love grew wildly as it sparked the light in others. BE THE LIGHT…..

 (if I ever ink up more of my body , you can be sure it will be with those  3 words) 

Twisters, elephants, and other life analogies 

The tornado of phenomenons have swept  through my life, the dust has somewhat settled ,and recently,I have finally had a moment to step back and check out its impact …..I have been pregnant four times in the last 5 years.  I am not even sure how that is possible? In the last five years I have gotten married, birthed 3 amazing  humans, taken a new job and bought house.  Oh, and did I mention that I did all of this at non-springy-chicken age of 42 ,while learning more than I thought I’d ever need to know about Down syndrome?
Here I sit, among the beautiful pile of happenings that are my life and I critique why things are not the same as they were before. 

The superficial come first  to mind because, well, they are what I see. Where did all these wrinkles come from and why hasn’t this pooch gone away yet? I also wonder why I can’t seem to get together some sort of routine or a love life with my husband. I’m just a few months out from having my third son yet I am completely unforgiving to me.

Where is my old body? My sense of order? My clean house? My unwavering gratitude? It’s all jumbled up with midnight feedings and wiping noses and teaching a class of five year olds their letters and numbers. The twister that is my life continues and the storm shows no signs of slowing.

I am not one to be at peace with its glorious chaos.  Rather,  I am at war with it. I’m not at war with my angel children, my patient husband or demanding job. I am on the front line  with none other than myself. Why am I not handling it better? Why isn’t the weight falling off?  Why haven’t I unpacked all those boxes or “Nate Berkus’d”  all the rooms in my house? Why aren’t my thank you cards done? How did I let my roots get so bad? Why isn’t there a hot, healthy ,dinner on the table at 5:30?

I’ve gone ahead and put it all on me. Now, I never have considered myself an overachiever, perfectionist, or competitive,  but somehow in the midst of this cyclone,  I have demanded beautiful serenity. I have expected an oxymoronic existence that is an impossible feat.

So, where to go from here?  I’ve acknowledged that my line of thinking is out of line. Now what? I struggle with  how to stop spinning. The answer evades me….. however, a few  sayings come to mind. “Live with intent,” “discipline is the difference between what you want now and what you want most,” and a favorite from the wisest man I know( my dad,) “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Live with intent: sometimes I find myself trying so hard to win at life that I’m failing miserably and living with neglect. I’m mindlessly eating a chocolate bar while paying bills, watching a show and half assedly answering my sons endless questions about all things ever. I’m failing us all. Staying present is so hard for my multitasking personality but it is so important. I’m missing it. I’m missing being my very best me because I’m so busy being multiple versions of myself.

Discipline: I’ve always been real into  immediate gratification. So, when work has been long and therapists don’t trickle out until well after 5, we  say screw it let’s  just order a pizza. When weeks drag on  and on because we are  quarantined, and then we finally get well, I say screw housework let’s go to the mall. I have that third drink when I know it will exhaust me the next day. I trade valuable home improvement moments for screen time. I pick now over waiting…. Then the guilts come. Why did I eat that crap? drink too much? waste my day? Forget to pray?  Discipline is the yield sign to regrets. Until I have more order, I need to slow down the way that yellow sign urges me to.

How do I eat that elephant? One slow, deliberate, disciplined bite at a time. I will not blink and be my high school weight or wake to find every room in the house designed the way I intended. My wants will be sloth like because my needs make my head spin and I can’t change that. My options are few. Either abandon the elephant all together because of it’s enormity OR count small nibbles as victories. That one minute plank- victory. A full, ten, uninterrupted minutes painting with my toddler-victory. A conscientious conversation over a glass of red with my husband-victory. A bed made, pillows and all -victory. A crumbless high chair-victory…and then before you know it you can see the trunk, or the tail, depending on which end you started at. That gives you the power to keep going… and next thing you know ,you are in a tanktini , lying on a beach chair, with  a Mai-tai,  marveling at how the aftermath of a typhoon made everything  lush and beautiful… THAT is some  pachyderm food for thought.

Tangled Up In The Christmas Lights… and Lows

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.