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!