This is it...the beginning of the most exciting time before Christmas. If you ask Alex how many days he can practically answer down to the second. How I am going to miss this. He is my youngest. I cannot expect the magic and wonderment to last many more years I suspect. We had our annual viewing of The Polar Express tonight. I made popcorn the old fashioned way in a kettle on the stove tonight. It tastes so much better than microwave popcorn. While I was making it, Nick walked up and peered over my shoulder at me jiggling the pot, the glass lid letting him see the kernels popping, and he said to me "Well! THAT's a new way of doing it!!". Joe and I cracked up and tried to explain to him that making popcorn that way was actually the original way and the microwave version is what is new. The idea of a world without microwaves and cell phones is as foreign to my kids as a world without electricity was to me at their ages.
It seems every year when I see The Polar Express, the meaning of it alters slightly and speaks to me in a different way. I always cry when I watch it, which I guess is a weird reaction. I don't know many other people that do, but it gets me right in the heart; right in the gut. The music in particular moves me. I think I will always choose to believe in Santa. I believe in things I cannot see. I have faith in that which I cannot touch, but can only feel. If anything, the spirit of Christmas is more alive to me now than ever.
I am taking Nick out shopping just the two of us tomorrow and we'll have lunch together. I got to do this with Alex the day after Thanksgiving; it will be nice to do it with Nick now. I have more peanut brittle to make and candy. On Sunday the boys are having Christmas with Stewart's family and Joe is taking me to the Blue Mesa champagne brunch. After that we are going to make the drive to Providence Village to look at real estate and to see how far away that community would place us from the boys. I suspect it will be too far, but there sure are some nice homes out there for sale at much better prices than this close in to Dallas. We'll see what comes of it. Most likely nothing. Its probably too far, further than I want to be while the kids are still young enough to care about me being around every day.
So six more days, five as of tomorrow, as Alex informed me as I was tucking him into bed after his handful of pills and growth hormone injection. How lucky I am. I would give anything to be able to continue watching Joseph grow up. And now as I get to watch Alex, whom we also weren't sure would survive his illness, I want only to hold him right here, in this place, at this age. While he still wants toys for Christmas more than electronics. While he still comes to curl up against me on the couch. While he is still unafraid to demonstrate how much he loves me. Nick is at the funky age where he wants both toys and things that are more mature. I got him some of each. I hope they have a good Christmas. Its funny that I fret so much about the gifts. I can't recall a single thing they got from Santa last year. The gifts are so not important. This is the important part. The anticipation. The creation of memories. The honoring of traditions. I try hard to keep that in mind when I think of "Just one more thing...." and try to talk myself into it.