Tis the season for peace, hope and joy. And family. And over-indulgence. And credit card debt. And elves you forget to move every night (assuming you have young children, which I assume everyone in the whole universe does). But yes, peace, hope and joy! Let’s focus on those!
We love holidays in our house. We decorate for everything. Even Valentine’s day. And we also love tradition. Shawn is forever coming up with new ones (can’t wait to have goHappy to capture them – and remember what we came up with!) So Christmas is like an explosion of decorations and traditions and Christmas music and movies and visits with Santa and fires in the fireplace. We love it. And every year just seems to be more fun, which has everything to do with our kids’ ages. I am pretty sure we are in the absolute prime of our Christmas love affair. Right now we have a newly turned 8 year old, a 5.5 year old and one who is 3 and three-quarters (his words, not mine). Every day they get up with such excitement about where Buddy Boo, their Elf, landed overnight. So much so that it made the 20 minutes trying to contort him into some crazy position so he wouldn’t fall, while I possibly said some bad words under my breath, totally worth it.
Sometimes when their bad behavior hits, they even respond to my Santa threats. Another reason to love Christmas. But what I am trying to do this year is soak up every second of the excitement in their eyes, the surprise in their voices and the feel of their little arms around my neck. I can distinctly remember when my little brother was 3 and three-quarters and he got a Mickey Mouse clubhouse for Christmas and he was just beside himself with absolute joy. (Apparently my dad and his buddy had a great time putting it together the night before and enjoyed a glass of bourbon inside afterward. Ahhh, the adult part of Christmas.) Well that memory for me feels like 8 or 9 years ago. Not the 28 years that it actually is.
I know this time with my kids is going to fly by. Everyone has always told me that the days are long but the years are short, and I am finding that to be completely true. You see, whenever I get asked about how old my kids are and I rattle off “1, 3 and 5.” Or “2, 4 and 6” and I get the sympathetic answer I deserve like, “Wow. You are busy” “Oh you have your hands full!” “Oh it gets easier.” (Yes I am. I totally do. And when exactly?), I feel justified in that moment for the crazy, yelling, scatter brained woman I’ve become.
I have always been told that when your youngest turns 4 you feel a big shift in how much “easier” it all becomes. My youngest will be 4 in two months and as of now, I see no truth in this lie the old moms tell the young moms. I am waiting for the Easy Fairy to arrive and sprinkle her magical dust that takes away the tantrums and fighting and tears and back to back trips to the bathroom (why can’t they go number 1 and number 2 AT THE SAME TIME!?) and bad listening skills and the “I can’t find it’s” and the baths and what feels like daily finger nail clippings and wiping. For the love – THE WIPING! Yes. You get the point. WHEN IS SHE COMING?
Sometimes I worry that I spend so much time looking for her that I am just going to totally miss the fun times that these ages bring. So that is why I love this season. This time of year brings me back to the realization that these little rugrats are what make the whole season magical. I actually get literal tears in my eyes to think that they won’t be like this forever. So for the next two weeks, I am going to put down my phone, get on the floor and play, take them for surprise rides in their PJ’s to look at Christmas lights, let them stay up late watching Elf, open a present early and everything else we are cramming into our new goHappy existence. After all, this is the ONLY Christmas they will be 8, 5.5 and 3 and three-quarters.
Oh and did I mention our 17 year old nephew is living with us this year? More to come on that topic in The Crazy Christmas Part 2. We may have to stay up late helping with homework that we have to google, but at least he can wipe himself.