I gotta say December 26th is kind of the most depressing day of the year. It’s sad that as I’ve gotten older, it’s become harder for me to see Christmas Days come to an end. It’s almost as if the excitement and anticipation is built up so much, that about ¾ ‘s of the way through December 25th I start feeling a little melancholy as I’m aware of the nearing conclusion. There’s such finality to Christmas Day. I realize that the Christmas SEASON – “Christmastide” is technically just starting – Churchilly-speaking that is, as we celebrate until January 10th which is the “Baptism of the Lord” – BUT commercially and socially the season is over; the decorations are all a little dusty, lights and trees start coming down and then everything just looks so brown and blah again.
We did have a wonderful Christmas though. It was the perfect amount of fun but with some good quiet at home time too. We attended the “zoo service” at church (aka the 4pm Children’s Mass). Where I, annually, become my worst-Christian-self as I get so frustrated by the oodles of people that show up for their twice-a-year-Church-fix and then proceed to chew gum, visit and talk on cell phones while acting like we’re all blessed with their holy presence on this Holy Day. Told you, I become a bad person at Christmas church. Anyway, after church we headed to our good friends’ home for Christmas Eve dinner. These friends – Kristin and Mike – are Zach’s Godparents and have four super-fun kids of their own. So, just our two families combined (and the 6 children ripping around) is plenty of fun and craziness. Christmas morning, the boys – following our instructions – stayed in bed until 8:00 on-the-dot when we woke up to their pounding feet racing down the hall. Matthew was thrilled that Santa did actually deliver the requested Nerf guns (which have – surprise, surprise – already been taken away a few times).
We went to my parents’ house for gifts and dinner in the late afternoon where I received the gift that, for me, was the piece de resistance this year. It was from mom (and dad) to us. Last year, for her birthday, we got my mom some instruction sessions at an art studio. She’s been rather mum’s-the-word about what projects she’s been working on. Now I know why. Mom has always been a huge fan of religious art and has a very extensive collection of Madonna (Mary) and Child (Baby Jesus) pieces. Needless-to-say the tears were a-flowing when I opened an original painting that she made based on a photo of the first time that I ever got to hold Matthew while he was in the NICU. She replicated our pose and faces to perfection and the intimacy only shared between a mother-and-baby post-birth is tangible, but then she transformed it into a Mary and Jesus picture. It’s A.MA.ZING. Whew!
So, we did have a really marvelous Christmas. We REALLY did. But all the while, I dreaded the dawning of the infamous December 26th. And as if, on cue, the universe responded with some equal blahness to match my impending mood. The first thing we heard this morning was Matthew yelling from the bathroom, “MOM! DAD! COME QUICK! The toilet is flooding the bathroom and there’s pee and poo everywhere!!!” We groggily race into the bathroom, practically bumping into each other and off the hallway walls. While Mike works on turning off the water, I grab towels only to hear another ominous sound – this one coming from the boys’ bedroom. It is the unmistakable sound of a vomiting child. Zachary. Throwing up. In his bed. And then continuing all day long. Poor guy. Fever. Vomit. Pee-d and Poo-ed on floor. Merry-day-after-Christmas. Bah Humbug. Only 363 days to go…