Could I please just freeze time? If I had one Christmas wish, it would be that. To freeze time. Not because I want my kids to stay this age forever – at times I actually kinda don’t. The three-year-old’s tantrums are literally wearing me out (love you, buddy! Just not your fits for another PopTart!), and I’ve broken up about a million fights between siblings since the Christmas “vacation” began.
But we’re already at December 24, and the last two months are a complete blur, so maybe one minute frozen would be nice. The rushing, the sprinting, the buying, the planning. We’re already at today, and I barely know how I got here.
There’s still some work ahead – the kids need to be scrubbed until they’re shiny new in preparation for church (no small feat with three boys’ worth of dirty knees). Meals need to be cooked. A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle castle needs to be built without my husband and I divorcing at midnight. But it’s all OK. I’ve made it this far, which means I will surely make it through the next 24 hours.
Hopefully my kids will wake up tomorrow surprised and excited. My husband and I might get a chance to look at each other and smile (?) knowing we did It again. The impossible. We made Christmas happen despite the crowds, the budget, and the odds.
We’ll breathe. And we’ll want to freeze the moments of surprise. We’ll want to freeze our kids’ innocence, their trust in our family, and their excitement that a big guy in a red suit slid down our chimney once again.
My parents will be there. My husband’s mom will be there. I bet they’ll want to freeze time with their grandkids.
But in reality, I’ll want to freeze time with them. I’ll want to freeze my own innocence, my own trust in my family.
One of my favorite books I’ve read this year was “The Middle Place” by Kelly Corrigan. It’s not a new book, so I’m sure many of you have read it. But it hit so close to home for me.
It made me realize that I want my parents and my mother-in-law to stay this age forever. I want them to always be healthy, youthful, and newly retired. I want them to always love every single story I tell them about their grandkids. I want my mom to always shake her head and smile when she sees my daughter’s nails are painted; and, I want my dad to always reach for a beer in the outside fridge as he walks into my house. I want my mother-in-law to always ask for her Tupperware back.
I want them to always be wise, to always have the answer, and to always readily give it. I want to always see my son’s infectious grin as my dad smiles, and my daughter’s eyes as my mother-in-law faces me.
I want to be in the middle forever. I want to always be somebody’s daughter AND somebody’s mother. It’s simply the best place you could be in life.
If you’re lucky enough to be in the middle this holiday season, hope you’re able to freeze just a few seconds. And savor.