Monday, December 1, 2008

One good thing about living children*

Before M, I loved Christmas. I had lots of decorations and enjoyed dragging them out every year to put them around the house. I loved our tree decorating night. Right around this day every year, I would start feeling giddy and happy that Christmas was coming.

I probably don't need to tell you that that all changed after M died. The year I had M, our decor and tree were already up, but I remember it took me near forever to take them down. I just could not work up the energy. I remember my mom finally helped me by taking all my ornaments off so we could at least recycle the tree. I think the ornaments stayed on the kitchen table for 3 weeks before I finally put them away.

The next year, we decided we would start the tradition of buying our tree on M's birthday. So, we did get a tree but I never decorated it. It just stayed there in all its plain green glory until recycle time came around again. Last year, pregnant and nervous, I still did not feel any "Christmas Joy". I just couldn't get into it. We bought our tree, and I thought I would at least try to get into the spirit and maybe drag out a few ornaments. I remember I told myself that if I couldn't get into the mood, then I would not pressure myself to celebrate and decorate. I ended up having A just a few days later, so that took care of the decorating question. I think I just figured the whole happiness and fun of Christmas was different for me now, and that was okay. After A came, I figured I could just fake it a bit for her sake, to make her Christmas' fun.

Well, I had a feeling the other day. A feeling I almost forgot how it felt. Christmas spirit. Christmas anticipation. Christmas joy. It jolted me. I am capable of feeling excitement again. I know that it is A. I'm excited to experience it with her. Don't get me wrong, I am still feeling all that longing and sadness and memories of the Christmas I had M. I will probably shed a lot of tears for missing my other little one that should be old enough now to be running out of his room yelling, "Santa came!!!" But, I get to feel some joy too. And that, is one good thing about living children.

Thank you, A, for helping me feel some feelings I thought I had lost forever.

*Obviously, there are many, many good things about living children. The title of this post is a little tongue in cheek. Just don't want anyone thinking I think there is only one thing!


CLC said...

I am glad the Christmas spirit has found you again. I pretty much feel the same way you did a couple of years ago. All of my decorations are out in my dining room waiting to be put up, yet I haven't been able to make myself do it yet. I just don't see the point, yet I hate being this way.

Thanks for letting me know that it can get better!

loribeth said...

I've always put a tree, & taken great joy in doing so, but that first year -- man, it was hard. So glad to hear that some of the Christmas spirit is making its way back to you!

Julia said...

It's so good to see you getting back some of the old life. We lose so much when our babies die. It's really good to see you get a part of it back.

In the Old Country, the tree is a New Year tradition, so we always put it up on the 25th or the 26th, since we do not celebrate Christmas. It stays up for a couple of weeks, generally through Jan 14th. The year A died, we tossed the tree about a week before. Last year Monkey refused to participate in disassembling it, and she wasn't too into decorating it in the first place. That was her marker-- the tree, because she didn't know from dates. We'll see how it goes this year...

Rosepetal said...

No tree here. But there are some shinily wrapped presents under an undecorated house plant, does that count?

I'm glad you're getting those feelings of excitement back again :-)