I’m having some trouble, this year.
The Christmas/Yule/Solstice spirit is eluding me.
I want to get into it. But the material, the corporeal, the mundane are dragging me down.
Go there, see this, buy that. Trudging, obligation, drudgery.
The Boy’s Christmas Concert is tomorrow. It’s not his first, that was last year. And it’s not that I wasn’t looking forward to it, but…well…it was just one more fecking thing.
This morning, I took a good look at his hair. Unruly and thick at the best of times, repeated sweat/toque cycles had rendered it Completely Impossible. Neither gel nor mom spit were going to tame it.
So not only did I need to ready an outfit for the concert, arrange to get The Girl picked up at daycare in time for the concert, coordinate my in-laws to get to the concert –
now I had to get The Boy a damn haircut for the concert.
We trudge the 3 blocks through the snow. I break it to the boy after we were in the door that no, this is not a kids’ salon with video games and lollipops. He grudgingly hoists himself into a chair. Stares sullenly at the mirror in front of him. The Girl and I, already overheating, sag into a leather sofa to wait.
And then the hairdresser asks my son, “So, what are you going to be in the concert?”
His eyes light up. “I’m going to be a Santa! And only the boys are going to be Santas. The girls are not being anything, and my mom says that’s not really fair, but I think that’s OK, and my girlfriend, actually, I have 4 girlfriends…”
My son is making small talk with a grown up, for the first time. Not a member of the family, not one of my friends, not a teacher. A stranger, really. And I’m trying not to laugh out loud at this grown up act he’s trying out. And then The Girl starts singing along to a song on the radio being piped into the salon, and she senses that as a cute little girl in pink sitting in a grown up salon waiting area, she’s attracting some attention, so she really gets into it, and closes her eyes, and tries to hold the high notes.
And I remember, god, I love these little buggers.
For a minute, for 20 minutes, there’s no where else I can be and nothing else I can do and I just have to sit back and revel in these little people, who are the whole reason I give a damn about Christmas.
And so I do.