I'll admit it, the snow helped. But I have definitely been in a Christmas funk the past week. I think it started while I was trying to put away some of the boys' toys. As I tried to shove the Lego box back into its place on the toy shelf, I felt sick thinking my boys could not possibly have need for one more overpriced, plastic, thinga-ma-jig destined to be dropped, stepped on, or otherwise destroyed followed by a fit of tears as to how that was their favorite toy ever. And yet I have another obnoxious stash of bright, shiny plastic thinga-ma-jigs all ready for Christmas morning. Where in the world will we put them?
Friday night a strand of lights on the tree went out causing all the subsequent strands to fail--not good. Sunday Matt managed to find the strand, remove it and get what was left of the lights working again--good. When I asked if he would replace the strand, he claimed no one would notice the dark spot on the tree--whatever.
McKay has cried for three days. It is really beginning to get to me. The boys have learned just to ignore it and shout over him. Matt read bedtime stories to the boys last night over McKay's screaming and said no one seemed to notice. Poor dears -- the older boys for having to live like this and poor McKay for feeling this way. The only thing that seems to soothe him is a shallow bath. But you can only let your baby float for so long! He gets too cold too quickly any way since he can't have any water on his belly yet. So out of the bath he comes and resumes crying until he's either held in the perfect position or falls asleep. I'm told his headaches should end soon--I sure hope so. At times he absolutely claws at his eyes as if he's trying to attack whatever is causing him such pain. Maybe they'll have some suggestions at his check up tomorrow.
But today as the winter sunshine streams through the window and warms my back, I can feel my heavy heart warming to the season, too.
The boys have so many toys because they are adored by family that spoil them rotten as every child should be. And I am SO thankful for family. I will teach them to part with some of their treasures and bless others with their abundance.
The Christmas lights go out because we are fortunate to have a gorgeous tree dripping in ornaments fashioned in preschool classrooms or carried home as souvenirs from an envious array of vacations. I am blessed with a decorated life.
My baby cries because he is alive. There was a time not so long ago when my heart ached to hear him cry. I swore in the moment of his first struggling cry almost five full days after he was born, I would never take hearing his voice for granted. And although we are blessed with audible evidence of his presence in abundance now, I am grateful his fired up little body is firing on more cylinders than before. Be comforted little one.
So the magic may come in spurts instead of a steady flow this year, but it will come. How could it not? Our life has been nothing but a steady series of miracles, our home is full of children dazzled by all things Christmas, and we feel the steady love of the Savior for which the season is celebrated. Chances are most of you will not get a Christmas card from me this year. For that I am sad. But I cannot apologize for all the other priorities that have taken their place securely in front of that Christmas tradition this year. Maybe next year we'll get back to the busy things that usually make up this season for me, but for now we're focusing on quality over quantity; perspective over pressure. A different Christmas, indeed.