Yesterday was so warm, like the days preceding, and I got thiiiis close to pulling out bright summer clothes, flip flops, and sunglasses and having us all pose for a "Christmas in NC" picture :)
Today? It is not so hot. Not freezing, no, but not summer clothes weather.
Anyway, I'm not sure if it was the weather, the fact that we didn't decorate, or the fact that we had just been busy, but I was so not feeling this Christmas thing. I mean, family? Presents? Good food and lots of laughter? Yes, definitely looking forward to it. And I'm certainly not feeling morose or depressed this Holiday, in fact I'm quite happy and at peace right now.
But there was just something about the magic missing for me...
So last night we tried out this thing called Lights on the Neuse. It's in another city, half an hour away, and it cost almost $30. That coupled with the crowds, the costs for cocoa or other treats, having to wait in line an hour in the cold, jumpy children, and it not in any way being what I expected when we got there...
Yeah, I was ready to leave.
By the time we got up to the front of the line, P had been in trouble several times for various dumb things we normally would've let slide, A was fussy and shivering, and Nik and I were both just groaning.
For a second that broke, when a group of girls started to sing "Rudolph" and so many people, me included, joined in. Ambrose even clapped. And then it was gone and went back to waiting for them to load up the next tractor for the "hayride," where really it was just a tractor pulling a long platform with benches and railings at each side and some hay thrown down in the middle.
We boarded, snuggled in, reprimanded the kids again because, sheesh, we don't want to hold still for this long either but seriously just sit still!
And then we were off.
And it was incredible. Breathtaking. Magical.
And it wasn't so much the music, though that seemed all encompassing, nor was it necessarily the half hour light show, though that truly blew us away. It was my husband and I, each with a quiet, snuggling, wide eyes little boy sitting on our lap, watching the magic through their eyes and realizing that this night, this music, these lights, this feeling, was something they would remember forever, even if only a distant memory.
This Christmas may just be another Christmas for me. It's not a "first" Christmas for anyone, nothing horrid happened to our family this year where Christmas is helping to heal us, we aren't struggling and we aren't going all out. In some ways, it's just another day, something fun and something worth noting, but it would probably pass right out of our memory banks.
But looking at P... watching his eyes, hearing his voice, feeling him tense when lights would flick on and a whole lit up magical playground, moving by itself, would appear beside us from nowhere... feeling his body relax against mine as we trekked through the forest path, full of lit flowers and cottages and wildlife... seeing his face when we got to an open field, dark and quiet, and suddenly in a blaze of light a whole forest of bright multicolored trees light up and start flashing to the music...
And knowing my own memories and realizing that he will likely remember that moment, that special, magical time for the rest of his life...
That, to me, was magic.
And it made me tear up.
Oh, and the best part, of course, were his words.
"Mommy, I love you. Thank you for bringing me here. I'll remember it for always."
Ah! This boy kills me!
Granted a few minutes later he told me he was board and needed my iPhone... But eh, that was erased pretty quickly at the next light show :)
I should note that we capped off that night by going back into the mostly neglected 3D house, where you grab a pair of 3D glasses and walk through a barn filled with walls and tight twists and turns, with 3D painted on Christmas scenes all over the walls as you walk through.
We were at the very back, admiring a baby Jesus painting, when Nik tells me something is wrong with Ambrose. I turned around but he was hard to see in the black light with my 3D glasses on. It was just so dim...
So I bend over and ask, "Ambrose, what's wrong?"
"Nakey!" he tells me.
That's when I noticed he wasn't wearing anything but a shirt and he was holding himself and preparing to pee.
On baby Jesus.
So yeah, I got to be the crazy woman wearing 3D glasses grabbing a half naked child in the freezing cold and running past people as quickly as I could screaming, "WE DO NOT PEE ON BABY JESUS!!!"
He held it until we got home, haha!
Today we all got up early, despite a late bedtime. We had breakfast at one of our old favorites, went to the only place open in the area (Durham Life and Sci), then rushed home to help the security guy set up our new system. It's nifty! I can see my living room from my phone! And the kid's windows are monitored now too, which makes me feel better. No more finding P perched on his sill or leaning out to hold early morning conversations with people walking down the street while we're still sleeping. Oh, and no one can get in too.
No I need to go quickly wrap a small gift for my grandparents that the kids made and head over there. Eep! We're supposed to be to their house (20 minutes away) in 9 minutes! Oh well, you win some you lose some :)
Lily in a loafing barn
4 weeks ago