It’s Christmastime! It’s Christmastime!
It’s the most magical time of the year. As a mother of young kids, I feel mounting pressure that this is not only the most magical time of the year…but perhaps THE most magical time of my life, and certainly theirs. The wide-eyed innocence, the wonder! Truly, what’s more wonderful than the reactions of an eight, five and two-year-old on Christmas morning?
And so I run around, hiding elves, filling advent calendars with candy, sprinkling sparkly reindeer food outside, pretending to spot dashes of red (it must be THE BIG GUY making sure he knows where we live!), volunteering, buying, wrapping, buying, wrapping, caroling, delivering.
For a month….25 days in a row….I do what my son calls, “run around, acting like an explanation point!”.
That’s right….an explanation point. A grammatical symbol used to indicate strong feelings or high volume. Isn’t that kind of appropriate for December? Excuse me, I mean…isn’t that kind of appropriate for December?!?! This month..this magical month is for sure, a full on…explanation-point-kind-of-month!
And its explanation point, after explanation point. Parties! Breakfast with Santa (two explanation points)!! School programs! More parties….with very little time for a re-caffeine in between.
Last week we kicked off the our month of explanation point events with one of our favorite traditions: Breakfast with Santa. Its a beautiful venue, with a wall full of windows overlooking a lake, trees and nature. An ornately robed Santa arrives, carrying a golden bag, walking around the lake. You hear one child’s sweet, awed, whisper as she spots the movement afar, “it’s….santa…”. The buzz swells through the room and soon every single child is glued to the windows, shouting and pounding on the glass, waving…”Santa! Santa! Saaaaanta!”. Enter the the explanation points!!!
This was a big year for us and breakfast with Santa..the stakes were high. You see, my son is eight-years-old and I know he has more believing days behind him than in front of him. At this point, his questions are still searching for reasons to believe. That is a slightly different tone than questions that are searching for reasons not to believe. But again, I know the tone will change. And likely it will change soon. So for now, he’s believing…so for now, I’m making this year extra magical…a big explanation point for my boy. After all, he’s more of a big kid than a little guy now, right?
My son is allergic to dairy, egg and nuts. And while I could write much, much more about his allergies and how he, and we, have managed them over the years…I won’t, because that’s another post. The reason this is relevant to this post is because he had an allergic reaction at our very big deal, Breakfast with Santa.
He told us his throat was itchy, and stopped eating. We saw Santa. But immediately after he went into anaphylaxis where his breathing was labored and lips swelling up. As my husband raced down the highway, I crawled over two rows of seats and his scared, little sisters to the back row of the mini-van. As he cried and pleaded with me not to, I did what we’ve practiced for eight years now…pulled out the epi-pen and jabbed my boy in the thigh, providing him with a shot of adrenaline to sustain him until we arrived at the emergency room.
The rest of the story isn’t nearly as exciting. We spent a few hours in the ER, he was given some steroids, monitored, we were told good job and discharged.
But during those few hours we spent in the ER, Charlie confided in me that he was feeling itchy and miserable while he saw Santa. But he tried his best to hide it because he didn’t want Santa to see him having trouble breathing. (Of course I spent a great deal of time reassuring him that he should never feel embarrassed about his allergies in front of Santa or anyone. That he needs to yell and let everyone around him know if he can’t breath. But again, this isn’t an allergy story).
Its a story about magic and explanation points. In that moment, as Charlie bashfully told me about hiding his symptoms from Santa, I looked at my boy, saw his eyes puffy from crying and realized he’s still my little guy after all. He’s stuck somewhere between between little guy and big kid. I’ve been so nervous about his little guy days coming to a close that I’ve been running around, acting like an explanation point, trying to create all of these magical moments.
But the thing is, whether he believes or doesn’t believe as the days, months or year goes on. It doesn’t matter. The most magical, special thing of all now in December, and every day, is that my family is healthy, happy and here!!!!!!! (seven explanation points). Big kid, little kid..believer, non-believer. My family is the magic.