I’m Not Santa, But I See You
I’ll do Santa one better.
I see you when…you’re redirecting the baby away from the tree for the upmteenth time, frustrated that this is not as magical as you envisioned when you thought of Baby’s First Christmas.
I see you when…you’re sitting alone in a younger cousin’s bedroom breastfeeding while the rest of the family cavorts, stuck to glaze over as you look at your little cousin’s basketball posters, thinking sadly of the cooling dinner plate abandoned at the table.
I see you when…you’re gently negotiating new grandparents who all want that special First Christmas to be theirs to share with the new baby.
I see you when…you’re blearily wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve after everyone else is sleeping because you just couldn’t get a minute alone until now…and was that little footsteps you heard coming from upstairs? Or a little fussy cry? Crap.
I see you when…all you can think of to ask for is sleep, blessed merciful sleep. A stocking stuffed full of sleep…
I see you when…you put the baby in their cute puffer jacket then realize that it can’t go in the carseat and you just want to cry because you really just want to get out the door but now they’re also missing a sock and it’s cold out and why is everything so HARD. You just want to get out of the house on time! It shouldn’t be this fraught!
I see you when…you go out for the Advent service but the church nursery is closed and they FOR SOME REASON do not have changing tables in the regular bathrooms, so you have to ask ushers and they hem and haw and finally suggest the library which is fine, but you feel a bit like someone asking for room at the inn and you wind up praying the baby doesn’t pee all over this random church couch… (This really happened to me! Why would you lock up the one room with a changing table during a family event? Why!?)
Most of all, I see you when…you’re trying so hard to make everything magical and it feels like everything is just hard, for whatever reason, or a million little reasons. And this, more than anything, is what I want to convey: it will be magical because you’re there, because you’re trying, because your children love you no matter how much or how little tinsel is draped around the house or how many pom pom garlands festoon the mantle.
I see you, mama. You’re doing great. I hope you get a stocking full of sleep and dreams and love this holiday. And that the people close to you who see you doing this hard work acknowledge it, too.