Christmas Eve: The Pre-Christmas Party Spectacular, full of excitement and little balls of energy racing around aunt Catherine's house, thrilled for Santa to arrive, bellies full of sugar cookies. We gathered snuggly in the living room and sung carols, exchanged gifts and were just plain merry.
As Christmas tends to be, this one was a great one. Kade learned that beneath that colored paper there are toys to be had. We slept in- my plans of making a big Christmas morning breakfast slipped quietly away in the still morning when I got off work before the sun had risen and crawled under my quilt, my jacket still on and zipped. I was exhausted and knew that because Kade had gone to bed late, I could steal a few hours before the long day ahead of us. My kitchen showed signs of last minute baking and a haste clean up that left flour sprinkled across surfaces and packed into crevasses. Laundry covered every inch of my bedroom floor, pushed off the bed when neglected to be put away by someone (who was that anyway?) sleepy and groggy. When Kade finally woke up, I cleared a place at the breakfast table, made him something quick and easy that was nothing like gingerbread pancakes and felt a little guilty. But you know what? Christmas morning was magical anyway. Kade is a gentle little soul- tearing the wrapping paper very carefully, one tiny strip at a time. Once a gift was opened, he wasn't interested in the next one. It took some coaxing. Yes baby, that's a very neat guitar. Now let's open this one... But no, that guitar was the bread winner. It was that toy. You know, the one you take in the car to show all your grandmas and cousins. It lay across his lap in the back seat and through all our adventures we heard the sweet melody of "roof roof rooooof," accompanied by an occasional giggle.
The best part was the giving part, of course. I loved handing gifts to my loved ones, This one is for you, and knowing that I had made an impact on their holiday. I cherished sitting at the dining room table, candles lit, listening to the hustle and bustle that is Christmas night and stuffing myself with danish food that I look forward to all year long. We visited five different places, each cheerful and warm and welcoming. And at the end of the night, far passed bedtime, we tucked Kade in and wished him one final Merry Christmas.
The Elf Shelf
And now, there is the big open space of a new year. A whole year of opportunity, twelve months of growth. We'll do our best to grab it by the horns, hold on to the moments and press the sweet opportunities of love and time against our chests.
A lot happens in a year. A year ago today, we didn't know what was wrong with Kade. He had holes in his heart, threatening his little life and making him tired and sick. A year ago today we knew nothing of heart medications, surgery risks, recovery times. I had no job, my baby was sick and things seemed like they couldn't get worse. Today, Kade is healthy. His heart is healed and so are ours. We have our own home, jobs that we love and love for one another. The last couple of years have shown us how strong we really can be and how love really does conquer all.
2012? Bring It On.