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Soak Up The View

Take this stupid hat off my head!

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday – what a great evening. I have to say it has been a long time since I felt that way about our Christmas tree or the beginning of the holiday season.

Our twins were born and died just a few weeks after Christmas 10 years ago, and the holidays haven’t quite been the same since. For several years after they died, I bought Christmas ornaments in their memory. I always let Russell pick out a yearly ornament for himself so this seemed like a good enough way as any to remember Nolan and Simone.

I remember having favorite ornaments as a kid. I even managed to salvage one ugly green dome-shaped bulb, but that is a story for another day, and perhaps best laid to rest. Anyway, Russell’s favorite ornament is a space ship. It’s lighted, and when you press the red button on the side, it says, “Roger Zero G and I feel fine. Capital is turning around. Oh, that view is tremendous.”

Several years ago I stopped buying ornaments in memory of the twins because it just made me sad to unwrap them every year, and a part of me dreaded even pulling out the Christmas boxes because I knew I would have to confront those damn things. I could have easily boycotted the holiday, but I know that would have sent a shitty message to Russell.

Most years, it’s easy to put off the process because we get a real tree, but this year we bought an artificial one. We were afraid what a cat and dog might do to an evergreen, and the real ones send my sinus cavity into a tail spin.

So, Russell carried the boxes into the living room and we started unpacking. He was actually excited about the process, which surprised me because the kid tries very hard to carry around large doses of teenage angst.

But it was a lovely evening. He pulled out old pictures of him sitting on Santa’s lap and Christmas crafts that he did in preschool complete with little hand prints. Where has all that time gone? The holidays are different with him as a teen, but I can’t help but wonder how much they will change again in a few years.

Lyle and I have both been stressed lately; nothing huge, but the boob-scare bills are flowing in, and other unexpected purchases lately have made things a little tight in the Fast household. We’ve been snappy with each other and it caused a bit of a trickle down with Russell. Who am I kidding? We’ve all been grouchy as hell, and I think everyone has been feeling very under-valued.

Yesterday provided an illuminating respite. We enjoyed each other and the time we had together. I think for a moment we all felt pretty thankful for what we had together as a family. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but the view from here really is fantastic, and if I don’t appreciate it today, what makes me think I will see it any differently tomorrow?

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2 Responses

  1. I love those days when we get to slow down and enjoy the time we have with our loved ones. Too easy to take them for granted with all the competing demands and busy-ness of our lives.

  2. I couldn’t agree more! I relish these moments of clarity – now if I could just figure out a way to stay in that space…it shouldn’t be so difficult. I guess I get in my way!

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