It’s not even Christmas yet and I find myself getting all emotional about Baby’s First Christmas -- an event McLean is not old enough to even appreciate or remember. It’s way too late for me to be up and I’m sitting on the floor of the office, wrapping the toys and books and toy keys we got for him (he always goes after mine so I figured he should have his own set, like a mini-janitor). Why I bother wrapping them, I have no idea, but it seems anti-climactic not to do so, and hey, the little guy can grab and rip, so why not add an element of mystery?
The Christmas Story marathon is on, a movie I so love. It seems like the last couple of times I’ve caught it on TV in the background of my life, it always lands on that part when Ralphie is kicking the crap out of the bully kid, and his mama shows up to break it up and she pulls Ralphie off the kid and turns him to face her and he just looks up at her and starts crying. Something about seeing his mama just turns the rage into tears, and then she takes him home and splashes water on his face and the back of his neck to cool him off even though it’s snowing outside and tells him to go lie down and calm down, and damn if that whole exchange doesn’t just kill me EVERY SINGLE TIME I see it. It’s just so tender and an honest little moment of life and how a mother and son would interact in a situation like that. It makes me wonder if the director or writer of the film had just such a moment as a little kid because the scene is handled with such sensitivity and beauty.
It made me think about my little boy, how there will be similar times in his life when it just gets to be too much, and the anger will turn to tears. And I will have to hold it together for him and calm him down so that he can learn to one day calm himself down and regain control of his emotions. How do mothers do this? Is there a book on how to do it? I’m sure the mother’s first instinct would be to get in there and pound on the bully kid yourself because he dared to attack your baby. But that’s not the right thing to do. And I need to be an example of the right thing to do, difficult as that may be.
So I sit, wrapping his presents with cheap paper and tears, anticipating the good, the bad, and the ugly of parenthood that is yet to come.
Happy Holidays, dear ones. I hope your holidays are filled with peace and love and the Air Rider Range Rifle you always wanted.