Wednesday, 21 December 2011

On The Cusp


This year, as the Christmas season surrounds and engulfs us, John teeters on the brink of understanding.

He says "Di di dee" (Christmas tree) over and over again in a world bedecked with tinsel and lights, he says "O-o-ah" (ho ho hat) whenever images of Father Christmas flash before his eyes, he opens Christmas card envelopes with glee and then points emphatically to the wall where they must hang and he even says "baby Jee" whenever we see a  baby lying in a manger or a bright star in the sky.

But beyond that his understanding of Christmas is vague and mysterious. He can't quite understand that glitter glue ought to be splodged on the tissue paper tree, he can't sit and decorate salt dough ornaments, he can't sing carols with me or understand that he must wait to unwrap his presents, and whenever anyone asks me if he's excited I have to say no because he has no concept of time and lives entirely in the present.

And even though there's a small part of me that's longing for him to topple into understanding so that I can share the magic of Christmas with him in all its magnificent glory I know that I need to savour the innocent joy of this simple and special year - a year in which he doesn't know or care that I'm still stitching his Advent calendar on the 1st December, when I can buy his presents whilst he's watching me from the pushchair without fear of spoiling the surprise, when I can loose it completely whilst picking out the Christmas tree and know that he won't remember it for life, when I can shop with peace knowing that a single present would fill his heart with happiness, and when he has no preconceptions or expectations of what this Christmas season should mean.

Because soon this too shall pass, innocence will be replaced with excited expectations and I'll be held accountable for Christmas by someone other than myself.

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