One day last week, Sean and I spent the afternoon putting up Christmas decorations. I used to really enjoy decking the halls, but I have come to a point in life where it seems to be more work than fun.
As I root through box after box of stuff, I wonder if hanging fake glittery stuff on a fake tree only to be removed and boxed up again in 30 days is a good use of my time and energy, both of which seem to be in short supply these days. Sparkle and glitter and garland is not really what the season is about after all.
But then I look at my little five-year-old boyfriend who is totally into Christmas and the decorating and how he is thrilled with each ornament, even the cruddy ones. I realize then that it’s worth it because one day too soon he will be too busy or too cool to spend an afternoon decorating for Christmas with his mama. And oh how I will rue the day.
That thought however did not stop me from lying down on the living room floor in an attempt to stave off that spinning sensation of being overwhelmed that often comes with the holidays but this year seems to be magnified in light of the economy and world and personal events.
As I lay there on the floor trying to create some order in my mind so that I might create some order in my life, Sean wanders over and straddles me with his hands on his hips. I feel like the worker who has been caught napping in the janitor’s closet. He plops down on my tummy. He leans over and looks me square in the face. He searches my face with a furrowed brow, lips pursed in concern. I’m afraid that he knows, that I’ve not done a good job of keeping my adult worries and cynicism to myself.
“Mom?” he asks as he leans over me.
“Yes?” I say, bracing myself.
“Did you know that you have farkles on your face?”
He draws his face closely into mine and like a surgeon, he ever so delicately plucks a dot of glitter from my cheek.
“See?” he says, holding his be-glittered finger one inch from my eyeball, “Farkles!”
He jumps up, ready to keep going.
“C’mon mom, let’s keep decorating!” he cries with glee as he tugs on my arm.
This boy, he is good medicine for a bad attitude.
I decide that for him, that I would do a better job of at least pretending to find joy in the fake and sparkly, that I would be careful not spoil these few precious years in his life when the world is small and uncomplicated and magical.
So for now, for the boy, my attitude shall be like my tree — fake and sparkly. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.