Christmas time with a 7 year old who is the youngest of four and has been cooped up inside the house for almost a year makes for an energetic and lots of deep breathing moments. There were times this season I was fairly certain that K4’s head was going to blow off his shoulders or start spinning around or go all Roger Rabbit on us. His inability to control his excitement infiltrated just about everything he did. From wake up to being forced to sleep.
Christmas Eve day brought threats of taping his mouth shut from siblings and me hiding behind a locked door wrapping presents. Thankful for the moments to clear my head. Having so much adult stress it took constant reminders that this guy has no idea the depths of what is going on in the world right now. So I frequently had to focus my emotions through the soul and eyes of a child.
His desire to leave Santa “just 10” carefully crafted cookies. And a carefully written letter to the big guy reminded us all of how joyful we were. My suggestion to have the family watch Die Hard was appropriately shot down… having never seen I had no idea Bruce Willis and the actor also known as Professor Snape needed a good scrubbing of their mouths. My hubs and I did stay up to past 2am just to watch the movie.
The majority of the kids shared the oldest sister’s bedroom as has been the tradition for as long as one can remember. And as earbuds were shared and iPads loaned out the agreement not to wake mom before 8:15am was reached. Too bad I chose to stay up to 2 am to watch Bruce and Snape have at it.
Merry Christmas Mama came so soon and they all patiently waited while I collected myself only asking 4 times of I was almost ready. Never mind that Dad had been downstairs for hours having gotten up with the dogs. The roars of joy and screams of he came filled the house and suddenly the chatter of the days past no longer mattered. Watching the joy of giving from each person. And the moment of being told “these presents are kinda boring” as new pants were given, individually wrapped to the ever growing boy. To watch the kindness in their eyes and the thoughtfulness of their choices convinced me that we had done something right.
It’s not about the number of gifts, or the dollar amount spent… although K4 announced “you got me a Nintendo Switch, this thing costs $$” citing almost the precise amount paid for it. The face that he is still wearing is too big pj pants from his sister. And the rousing games of “Exploding Kittens” and “Jumangi” makes the memories even more precious.
So while we wind down the celebration, I hope we can hold onto the spirit of the season. Of the kindness and joy. Of the laughter and peace. Because those are the moments that will keep our sanity for months to come.