Yes I'm posting this a bit late. I have reasons. Which will come in the next post. Also in this one.
It was Simon's second Christmas and, at 19 months, he still doesn't GET it, but was old enough to actually enjoy opening gifts and playing with them.
|Reading Miki by Stephen Mackey|
For 10 minutes. Then he discovered wrapping paper and boxes and the same stuff he takes out of the kitchen cupboards every day.
And while seeing him SUPER excited to open up his new cars and trucks was quite fun, when he put those off to the side because he opened up the books we'd gotten him while we were in Hobart, and sat on his daddy's lap for 15 minutes asking to be read to, my heart swelled with pride and melted a little bit. Because my child loves books! And I don't know that there is anything he can do at this age that would make me prouder.
It was so nice to have a quiet Christmas morning, just the three of us. To enjoy Simon's happiness and at the same time remember that we should have had little Ben with us, too, to share toys with, and kisses, and have pictures of his first Christmas. And we needed that quiet time together, the three of us, to remember, to cry, to laugh, and to prepare for the big family Christmas day with everyone from my husband's side of the family.
We love ham.
The night before I'd made a really nice Christmas Eve dinner of ham and veggies. And home-made cooked egg nog. Oh. My. YUM. We ate leftover cold ham for breakfast with, what is becoming kind of a tradition for us, fresh, flaky biscuits and eggs. We try to keep it small because Christmas lunch with my husband's family tends to be HUGE. And then they eat the leftovers cold for dinner. It's quite delicious.
|No gingerbread house or TARDIS this year. Just plain cookies.|
I tried adding to it, at least for immediate family members and some choice friends, anyway, by baking gifts this year. A combination of gingerbread, almond roca, and some chocolate chip cookie dough truffles (I can't choose a favorite. They were all fantastic to, um, taste-test...). I let Simon "help" me this year. Since gingerbread dough has no egg in it, I thought he could play with some of the dough while I made the cookies. Turns out, Simon LOVES gingerbread (he now ASKS for it yelling "Dindinbeh!") and immediately stuffed the bits of dough in his mouth and yelled for more. So, not wanting a toddler hyped up on sugar, I put a stop to his "helping" and gave him rice puffs instead. Later, he learned the art of stealing cookies while I am distracted frosting them. Was he helpful? No. Was it annoying? No. I decided when I started that I was going to enjoy the time with him no matter what. We spent time together doing things. Well worth loosing some gingerbread and time baking to make the memories I now have of him!
|Bites of heaven.|
I mean eggless chocolate chip cookie dough truffles.
This year was honestly probably the most relaxed and nice Christmas we've been to.
Except that by the end, I had had more than enough socializing and pretending that I was ok. Because I wasn't. The one and only time I mentioned Ben's name and being in the hospital was during a legitimate story I was asked about (why Simon was running around singing, "Die Die Die!". It's from the song Dumb Ways to Die, which I had on my tablet the first time we were in the hospital waiting for scan results and ran out of ways to entertain Simon. So we let him watch it and he is kind of obsessed with it now). The people listening actually turned away from me. I mean legitimately turned their backs and stopped looking at me. To say it was hurtful would be downplaying what that felt like. It was one of those moments where I was tempted to yell "I DON'T HAVE A DISEASE!". I get that I am the face of pain to them right now, and they don't know what to do, but really, it was probably one of the worst things they could have done. Well, that, and ignore me. Which they did too. It was super fun, let me tell you...
|You can use tractors and trucks to make cookies.|
But Simon had fun. And that made most of it worth it. And by the end of the night, at home with Simon in bed, sitting with Phillip, a glass of wine, and watching Elf (after shedding copious amounts of tears, because you can't cry while watching Elf. It's too funny), I could say it was a nice Christmas with my little family.