Christmas Tidings

We made it through another Christmas. It was fun but exhausting. Every year, even before the big day arrives, I start ruminating on how I want things to be different the next year and start spewing pronouncements like these: “I’m never making cookies again!” “We should open presents over several days so everyone can really appreciate and enjoy each gift.” “Maybe eating PBJs for dinner would work better than this delicious roast.” And so on. Somehow, the excitement and wonder get mangled and become something to get through and manage and tweak… And then it’s over and I realize I missed it. Where was I? Off in some future ideal Christmas that doesn’t exist but that I’m worried we’re missing out on? This year I realized, a few times, I was doing this. And so a few times, too few, I came back to this Christmas, the real one that was actually happening. This is what I saw. Charlie laughing with sparkling eyes as he tossed wrapping paper and ribbons in the air. Henry, body all gangly angles, unable to contain his spirit, dancing, racing, shouting “Yeah!,” giving sloppy kisses. Brad smiling at me after dinner, taking time to talk and pour me more wine, not freaking out as Charlie and Henry both careened off into cranky overtiredness. Moments worth being here for. (Even the cranky overtiredness.) Wonder how many others I may have missed?

Anyway, to more moments here, now.

Right here, right now. Huh. Like that Fatboy Slim song. He’s cool. I’ll look up those song lyrics on the net. Oh, yeah. There’s that Van Halen album, too. Oh, and there’s a PBS show. Wait, what was I looking for? Oh, yeah, these.

And so it goes. Here, now. Right here, right now, I hear our furnace fan running. I think I am the only one awake in the house, but have heard Charlie stirring. There are too many lights on for only one person. Judgement. So quick to go there. Why can’t you be more forgiving of yourself, Whalen? Hah, judging the judgemental judger. Here, now. I am tired. I think maybe that Fatboy Slim song has got it right. Right here, right now. Right here, right now. Here here herehereherehereherehere…

I think this book is having an effect on me.

For those wondering why I don’t post here more often, I will now admit that I spent almost 30 minutes editing the above entry. So, after getting the ideas and the acutal words down, I spent an additional half hour editing for punctuation (does the comma go inside the quotation marks or outside?), grammar, and such. (How long will I spend doing same on this paragraph?) If you ever get an email message from me, chances are good I’ve done this same thing. (What’s truly comical is that you’ll still probably find errors…) Plus spent another half hour fretting that the wording I chose could potentially offend. Sigh. (So, should I have written out the word “thirty” or is using the number 30 okay? ) And now you’re all wishing this uptick in my posting frequency would subside.

Merry Christmas!