A few weeks ago, when my kids had woken me before even the moon knew it was morning, and my hopes of ever having a peaceful start to my day was once again dashed by the shrieks of battling toddlers, I calmly shut my door, took a breath and started a chat with myself.
I reminded myself (for the millionth time) that I am, unequivocally, absolutely, without a sliver of a doubt, going to miss "this." And "this," in fact, includes the all-day-wear-lipstick that my son smeared on the bathroom wall and the fact that my 2-year-old goes to school (and everywhere else) dressed as Mr. Incredible... with his coordinating Incredibles underwear on the outside.
As. Hard. As. It. Is. To. Believe....
We will all miss these times.
And that morning I decided to set a goal for this Christmas season. I vowed to bake Christmas cookies with my kids and let them decorate them any way they choose. To let them open their advent calendar and eat the chocolate at 6 am. To savor the awe in their eyes as they decorate our tree with all the handmade, paper-cut-out, scribbled and unrecognizable snowmen and snowflakes they could make -- and no, I will not move them when they hang them in a clump at the bottom of the tree. I will make them hot cocoa, and I will listen to their ever-changing, ever-expanding list for Santa Claus. I will patiently respond to their thoughtful (and sometimes unanswerable) questions regarding elves and flight times, Baby Jesus and the physics of chimneys. When they request the same Christmas song over and over again, I will belt out the words, making up with enthusiasm what I lack in tune. And Yes! I will absolutely put a red nose on my grill and antlers out my car windows! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Because this year, Christmas is magical. This year, they want me to cuddle with them, wear matching pajamas and singing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer together. This year, they want to read The Night Before Christmas, stroll through the neighborhood admiring the lights as we breathe in the crisp December air. They want to wrap their bed frames in tinsel and our bushes in candy-colored lights.
A day will come soon when they'll wish I would sing a little quieter (or not at all) and they'll think decorating gingerbread houses is for babies and they'll no longer thing Mommy and Daddy are cool.
But not this year. This year they believe in magic, and they believe that there's no place better than Home.
These days will not last, but the memories will.