In the Blink of an Eye


It happened in the blink of an eye.

As it does with every aspect of raising children.

We went from Christmas Eve mass, singing O Holy Night, holding little boys’ hands, dressed in their khakis and warm ski jackets….to setting out cookies and milk for Santa on holiday plates…to sitting side-by-side in their beds reading our stash of holiday books we pulled out each year from where they were stored with the red beads and other tree ornaments… to nestling and tucking them into their cozy beds, so anxious for morning….to teenagers beginning to sleep in.

Wooden building blocks, Play Mobile figures and Legos turned into electronics, computers, head phones and i-things.

The stockings they’d had from the year they were each born adorned our staircase railing, sometimes with a bough or two, a sprig of holly, that I would pause to smell as I passed by, lugging laundry.

And then cash became the most treasured gift.

In the blink of an eye.

This Christmas, as my home-from-college son sleeps in, my husband and I make the traditional egg bake with cheese, sausage, red peppers and scallions….and eat it alone with a bakery slice of toast.

No snow and fifty degrees here in New England. We open the deck doors and windows.

Then, we shower, make the bed. I put on my make-up and the Christmas CD’s.

Time for a second cup of coffee while Michael Bublé croons.

I’ve never opened Christmas gifts all primped. I’m used to slept-on hair and pictures that are only shared within the family – posing in new robes, new Ray Bans, ski sweaters or strumming guitars and mandolins.

I call my mom as we wait. She answers the phone with “Merry Christmas!”

But she has two minutes for her baked goodie to come out of the oven and then she’s off to brunch at Sky Loch Villas (a.k.a. Del Boca Vista) in sunny Florida. Tonight for her will be dinner with my in-laws and her neighborhood friends. She’s busy, busy, and I love that. “Thanks for my gifts!” she yells. “I’ll call you later!!”

Now James Taylor’s jazzy Christmas music plays.

My lives-with-his-girlfriend son heads to Massachusetts on this sunny Christmas morning to celebrate with her family.

The blink of an eye.

And we wait.

They’ll come later for seafood potpie and French cream puff Croquembouche made by their dad. They’ll bring the dog and we’ll do round two of unwrapping. We’ll play a movie trivia game his thoughtful girlfriend bought him.

We’ll talk about our bucket lists, plans for 2016 travel, and other dreamy, promising holiday-talk.

Christmas Eve and Christmas mornings have morphed into the next phase.

And it’s all good.

We are happy to wait.

As their mom + dad, we’ll always be here….and adaptable so that they will enjoy beginning to make their own traditions, partly based on what they know, partly based on what their partners know, and partly brand new and so “them.”

Christmas magic....with kids.....

…in the blink of an eye.

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