You’d think once your kids were past that late-toddler stage, you wouldn’t have anymore “firsts” at Christmastime. That’d be a mistaken assumption. We’ve entered a whole new world of firsts with my kids, and nearly all three teenagers.
This was the first year they all knew about Santa. (insert sad mom face here) It was a little heartbreaking, but definitely time. It also made things quite a bit easier. When your brain is already on overload with lists of work to-do’s, shopping to be completed, food to be bought, cookies to be made, schedules to be adhered to right up until Christmas, it’s REALLY hard to keep up the facade of Santa without screwing up. I can’t tell you how many extra stories we had to come up with because one kid or another caught me off-guard, and I screwed up. And forget about trying to keep them from wondering why all those boxes from Amazon were arriving on a daily basis when Santa was the one bringing their gifts. Now, the boxes arrive, I hide them, end of story. Nobody asks any questions. How Little Man found out about Santa is another story for another day…..
The Princess exchanged gifts with a boy for the first time. That was totally new, and somewhat exasperating, for both of us. It was also kind of comical. But I mentally checked it off in that mom-book in my heart. It wasn’t a huge deal. They aren’t BF/GF, although, according to teen-speak, they’ve moved past being “a thing”, thus necessitating the Christmas gift exchange. The “unofficial” also went to the movies with us Christmas Eve morning. Meeting the boy – another first.
Spouse and I fell asleep before the kids for the first time ever. Seriously. We were desperately trying to stay awake, watching White Christmas. We were both out before 9pm. We woke up on the couch around 10:15, hauled in the gifts from their various hiding places, filled stockings, and then headed upstairs. Little Man was still wide awake, bouncing around his room.
One first we didn’t get to have was Little Man NOT having a meltdown. Seems even when he knows who Santa is, and that no one will be sneaking down the chimney to deliver gifts while he sleeps, the anticipation still causes anxiety. Sigh….
For the first year since Big Man was born, I didn’t cry singing Silent Night. That song has been my emotional stumbling block for so long. I didn’t feel I had to defeat it so much as I had to be able to remember people and events that song recalls without it pushing me to tears. I did still remember the night before we brought Big Man home from the NICU, and I did still remember my sister and her particular love of Christmas, but both memories made me smile rather than cry.
I’m sure we will have many more Christmas firsts in the years to come. This is just another beginning to a new stage for our family. I hope yours was Merry.