December 23, 2013

Two Days Before Christmas

Is this proof that I’m getting older?

Tonight, I’m sitting in my favorite spot again. Our Christmas tree is very full this year and it pokes out into the living room and right into the path of my favorite seat. When I use the ottoman, the tree touches it. I’m looking at the ornaments as I sit. This Santa in his sleigh is from 1978. My parents bought him for me. The first part of a tradition that lasted 20 years for me and then only six for the Princess and one for Littlebit and never for Baby Bee. There’s the little booties that are for Littlebit’s first Christmas and the little white door that we bought the year we bought our house in Illinois.

Over there is the gingerbread man Littlebit made while I was room mom in her class’s Christmas party on Friday and there’s the teddy bear with the peridot heart that my great grandmother bought me so many years ago. Our tree is full of memories. The girls get a new ornament every year and looking at the Princess’s Eeyore or Littlebit’s Barbie or Baby Bee’s Mickey Train gives me a quick touch point to my girls when we bought the ornaments for them. I suppose that’s the point.

I’ve been weepy all day. I started by missing my Mom a lot and I saw that damn Apple commercial twice (and cried both times). Christmas fills me so full of emotion that it seems like it can’t help but spill over. Again, is this what it means to get old? Memory hangs so heavy and thick it’s like a double exposed picture. It’s Christmas 2013, and in some misty parts it’s also Christmas 2010 and Christmas 2006 and Christmas 1987. All there together. Littlebit sings along with the John Denver Christmas record that I sang along to when I was seven. Baby Bee sings Jingle Bells, Batman smells. The Princesses wraps the presents that way I wrap them and the way my Mom wrapped them. All the Christmases that ever were are all wrapped up here.

And it sounds kine of chaotic, but it’s not. It’s comforting.

Tomorrow, the girls will wake up and find that Santa made a last minute run to deliver a new pair of pajamas. They’ll shuck off their dirty pajamas and slip into new ones. We’ll decorate cookies and make a smorgasboard of snacks. I’ll read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” like I always do (and like my Mom always did). Memories will seep out of the corners and come in from all the cracks. I might cry again.

Just two more sleeps to go.

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