Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Is Coming

My kids are the perfect age for Christmas. There, I said it! Old enough to help, young enough to listen wide-eyed to tales of Santa Claus. I love this time of year.

Things, in no particular order, to remember this year....

Annaliese especially has been capital-P Possessed by the CHristmas spirit. One Saturday (when I was at work) K texted me a pic of Annaliese's face. She had a red nose and little antlers on her forehead. She painted herself like Rudolph, turned the radio to Christmas music, and spent a solid hour begging her brother to be Santa.

She also strung most of the Christmas tree lights, hung the stockings, and made the cats a Christmas present, wrapped and underneath the tree.

About a week later, she appeared on the porch when the rest of us were out feeding animals. "Y'all!" She hollered. "Come up to the house! The cats are getting their present!"

We promised to be up soon, but daylight was fading, and were mid-chore. "I'll do it myself!" She called cheerfully.

When we came into the house, she said, "The cats didn't care about their present," and held up her hand-drawn picture of a mouse.

And now for a Caspian update... he's getting quirkier as he gets older. He's definitely my child. Massive anger at injustice; a deep dislike of loud crowded places; losing objects wherever he goes. He's also entirely himself: I don't know many small boys with such an ability of focus on one thing and do it, well, to the exclusion of all other activities, for over an hour at a time.

His Nonni sent both children $10 in the mail awhile back for good grades with the injunction to spend it, not save it. We'd made plans that the children would go to the local drugstore and Fred's after school one day. Caspian emerged from the bus without his sweater, and as it was a chilly day, I wouldn't let him go out without a coat. Annaliese had both a coat and sweater, so we told him to wear Annaliese's (blue and green and entirely gender-neutral) coat. He couldn't do it. He wanted to go, but for whatever reason, he could not put on that coat. He sat in a booth at the store, weeping, stuck in a corner, and K. and I tried to reason him out of it. When Caspian is stuck in one of these corners, reason doesn't work. At all.

Twenty minutes passed. The weeping continued. Then I told him he could wear my sweater, a loose gray cardigan. The tears stopped and the shine came back in his eyes because, sure, that would work! We tied it behind his back kimono-style and he went off shopping looking much stranger than if he'd just worn his sister's coat, but happy as a clam.

So. Six, and almost eight, and it's almost Christmas.

The tree is up, the lights are on, I have another week of work, and then I'm taking some time off to be at home with my family. I can't wait.

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