Friday, December 11, 2015

It's not that I mean to...

It's just that the time goes by so fast. I hear it all the time, especially from grandmothers. They are so wistful when they say-- and they all say it-- "It goes by so fast."

That, my friend, is not necessarily a bad thing. But by it going by so fast, it gives me fewer minutes in the day to hammer out these moments in this space here, with you.

At this exact moment, I am sitting on a farm-- in my car with two kids in carseats in the backseat. Birdie is in the middle of her horseback riding lesson and I am thumbing through pictures, wondering if I can get off easy this year and give pictures of my children to grandparents as gifts. It's easier than thinking about something they need or want.

But I love Christmas, so knowing me-- and sometimes I know me pretty well-- I will try and go easy on myself and get a picture as a gift, but will end up getting something else that I deem creative and fun. I remember once, a friend told me about an ancient cookbook her mother bought her and her sister. It had some sort of purple drink in it that they made their father. He drank it and then promptly hid the cookbook. I thought it was a funny story and found the cookbook. The  purple concoction was still in there. And it was, apparently, still yucky.

I like to give those kind of Christmas gifts.

A few years ago, my parents gave me the family archives to peruse through. I found a carbon copy of a letter from my grandfather to an electrician who was doing some work on his beach house. He closed with something to the effect of, "AJ and I are doing well. We would love to get to Crescent Beach more often, but our little family keeps us busy. Woody just started walking..." I had it framed and matted for Woody for Christmas along with a receipt from his birth and an old canceled check to his mother.

Yeah, those are the gifts I like.

I mentioned that we (read: I) chopped down the dogwoods a few weeks ago. It's kinda been an open wound for Husband. It made me think that maybe it would be a lovely idea to give Husband a dogwood for Christmas. It would be a sweet gesture that he could plant in the back of the back yard and we could start the dogwood collection fresh. Somehow this came up in conversation and he said that the only thing better than giving him a dogwood would be to pour vinegar in an open wound.

Apparently, a dogwood is not one of those kind of gifts...

He loves dogwoods, just not when he has to plant them.

This Christmas, I have everything I want. I was working on our Christmas card and trying to figure out which picture to use. I really love this picture:


And sent it to a friend to see what she thought. She said I had taken better pictures. While this is true-- there is something that I see in this picture that no one else probably notices.

Allow me to point it out.

I have three healthy children.
I have three healthy children that are intentionally looking at something, whether it is the camera, or that finger with chipped nail polish making its way dangerously close to a nose.

We struggle with many things-- we all do. It does not matter the money in the bank account, the children in the beds, the roof over the heads, the friends we call friends, the education under the hat-- we all struggle. 

But this year, this amazing year that we are drawing to a close... this year has reminded me, rather it has taught me, that those struggles are the things that make the days. And those days can still be beautiful.

And humbling.
And all things wonderful.

My son can see.
My children can breath.
My husband can save lives. 

And I... I get to steer the ship and keep it floating. 

I was made for this. I was put on this earth to do exactly what I am doing-- and I love that.

Merry Christmas to me. 

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