Carols with PoponI hope yours was merry too...
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Some of my most vivid and wonderful memories from childhood are from Santa. Lying in my bed on Christmas Eve. Straining hard to hear noises on the roof, a rumbling in the chimney. My heart beating so fast with excitement and anticipation that I could not force myself into slumber, even though I knew I must if Santa was going to come. I remember when the veil began to slip, and I started asking questions about Santa. My Mom strove valiantly to keep my belief alive, and I believed long after many of my peers had fallen to the way side. There wasn't an exact moment I knew he wasn't real, but instead of being sad or angry or questioning God (as many parents warn me my children will do one day), I felt proud--like I was one step closer to the adult world. I joined forces with Mom, curbing questions and pretending that I believed so that my sisters could still wait breathlessly on Christmas Eve. Slowly, one by one, each sister joined the grown-up team, and even when my baby sister joined us, we couldn't bear to let go of the game. I don't ever remember Mom voicing the fact that she was indeed, Chris Kringle. Even as a married woman, I was still coming down the stairs to see what Santa had brought, and it would have been a sacrilege in our house to breathe a word to the contrary.
So, do I rob my children of these memories? Do I think that I am going to hinder my child's salvation or my tender relationship with them, because I play make-believe with gusto? Really look at what you know to be true about your own parents...How much of it hinges on their attitude towards Santa Claus? Isn't it more about how they lived their life before you every single day? And, more than anything else, there is only one very narrow window in life when a person has the ability to truly believe in magic. I could not know that I squelched that opportunity for my child. It's too precious. It's too valuable, because it's the footprint that's been left in my heart--of that time when magic was real--that brings color and beauty to stories I read even now.
I love you friends who have opted to leave Santa in the pretend realm, and I do respect your reasoning, even if I don't agree with it.
(Just so we're clear and I don't get any "Jesus is the reason for the season" blog comments, we WHOLE-HEARTEDLY believe that over here, and I think it is a travesty to let anything, including Santa, overshadow that. I'm just saying I think there's room for the big guy in red as well.)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
On a much more serious note, in the same email that my friend Lauren told me about this website, she also asked if I would tell you about Jenny's Light . This organization began a year ago, when a Mom, just like you and me, was suffering from Postpartum Depression and took her own life and the life of her newborn son. The Mom's name was Jenny. Her husband, Chip, was in residency with Jeremiah. Jenny was only a couple of weeks ahead of me...she carrying Graham while I was carrying Mary Aplin. She and Graham both died on the same day as Mom...December 19th. I was in such shock about Mom that I could hardly register what had happened to them. There were weeks where I could not look at Mary Aplin's smile, almost the exact same age as Graham, without feeling my insides turn over--knowing what Jenny and Chip were missing. When I moved back to Birmingham, a week after Mom, Jenny, and Graham's passing, I began to sift through the piles of mail and found Graham's birth announcement. I haven't posted about this before, mainly because it didn't feel like my story to tell, but Jenny's Light is trying to raise money and spread awareness for other Mom's, like us, who might need help but don't know how to find it. Please check the website out, and give if your heart feels inclined.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
After soaking in rose petals and lavender oils in my bath by the fire, and re-reading some choice passages of the eighteenth century love story I've just finished, it's time to dress. This is a crucial step, as one must feel beautiful to truly enjoy a day. I'm going to wear a calico dress, cream with tiny pink and blue flowers scattered intermittently across the soft fabric. Cotton lace accents the borders of the dress and my whole ensemble looks as though Elizabeth Bennett just took it off. It won't, however, actually be an antique dress, because I don't want to spend the day fussing over keeping it perfectly preserved. Once I'm dressed, feeling every bit the Victorian woman, I'll tiptoe down the rutted and worn stairs of our old English manor house and smell breakfast being prepared in the kitchen. A combination of scones baking, eggs poaching, Hollandaise sauce simmering, Canadian bacon frying, and wood burning entices my senses and draws me to the kitchen where I find a plump cook bending her bonnet-covered head over a bowl as she scoops out the Devonshire cream she'll be serving with our breakfast.
Old school Christmas music crackling on the record player...check!Three mugs of hot chocolate with extra whipping cream...check!One little urchin who is up way too late for Christmas tree decoration...