Whew! Christmas has come so quickly this year! I feel like I just finished putting some of our decorations away, and now they are back out. Come to think of it, there were a few that I kept forgetting to put away, and didn’t manage to put into storage until July. We don’t have a big family gathering planned; much of our family scattered to the winds, which makes things a bit easier. However, we are celebrating Christmas Eve with friends from Poland. I’m looking forward to experiencing a new tradition. Work has been so busy that I am woefully behind getting ready though.
Despite the lack of work/life balance, I do enjoy making Christmas a special time for James. He really helped decorate the tree, and is super excited about Santa coming. This time last year, James thought presents were pretty cool, and was just starting to figure out that Santa was actually someone who he wanted to have visit. But he didn’t worship Santa like he does now. James wants to know all that he can about where Santa lives, how he makes so many gifts, where the reindeer sleep at night, how they fly. We decided to let him watch Fred Claus to get a better idea of exactly what goes on. Maybe not the best plan, because now Santa is someone who has to please auditors, deal with family drama, and employs ninja elves. Try explaining why Santa has to invest in security to an inquisitive four-year old.
Christmas is going to be a modest affair. James had a blow-out birthday party in October, and received a mountain of gifts. We swore that the living room was not going to be overrun by toys, and failed miserably. They spread half way across the floor and we regularly trip over them. Since James doesn’t read yet, I can say that Santa is bringing him a Star Wars movie, a few gifts from his cousins, and that is it. We are also going to spend some time going through his toys to figure out what he can give to other little boys and girls that aren’t so fortunate. Tim and I aren’t exchanging any gifts, we are going to save our money and spend it on a house project.
Although, it has been an incredibly busy year, it has been a good one. We managed to do some really nice things together as a family like: visit the Kangaroo zoo, spend some time getting to know Port Townsend better, cruise to Alaska, walk on a glacier, and see icebergs calving. We’ve managed to squeeze some good diving in, not as much as I’d like though. I did get to dive with whale sharks in Atlanta; I really wish Tim could have been with me. Tim has been working really hard on his car project and blogging about it enough to catch the attention of a large on-line magazine. He may be a featured build pretty soon; he just has to work through the details. We celebrated 15 years of marriage, and Jame’s fourth Birthday with a great group. We managed a few trips up Canada to visit our dear friends Gregg and Ralph. The year has been so packed that much of it is a blur. Through it all, Tim and I continuously marvel at how big our son has gotten.
James has grown so much in the last year physically and emotionally. He’s shot up to 40 inches tall, and somehow hasn’t managed to gain a pound. He talks more than ever, and is incredibly polite and considerate for a four-year old. He had started to show an interest in music, he dances, sings songs that he has learned, and makes up new ones. He’s learning to write his name, thought the letters sometimes look more like an alien wrote them, but he is doing better. He can count to 10 and only occasionally forgets 5 and 7. He loves to draw, cut out shapes, and build things. His pictures actually look like things, instead of random squiggles. His hands are incredibly dexterous. He recently made a necklace in school, by stringing pasta wheels on to string. He was the only kid in his class that carefully strung the wheels on the tiny hub of the wheel, rather than using the larger and easier holes between the spokes. That all being said he still like to wear his underwear backwards, and generally likes to be naked around the house. He can be so grown up, he says he doesen’t like kisses anymore, and yet will not get out of bed by himself. Which in retrospect is probably a good thing.
Sometimes I look at him, and get overwhelmed by a mixture of awe, fear, and love. I still have moments where I can’t believe he is mine, I love him fiercely, and it feels like it could all get taken away from me in a heartbeat. But I guess that is being a Mom. I never thought I would get the chance to be a Mom, so I consider myself very lucky.
I look forward to the New Year, and hope for more adventures. Whatever tradition you follow, I hope that is joyous and that the New Year is peaceful.