"Thank you for Christmas"

by Kristi Van Dyk in ,

Today the dreaded chore of taking down the Christmas decor came up on the to-do list. I had been avoiding it, mostly because the lights are cheery and sometimes I need that in the dreary Michigan winter. BUT, today was the day. I told Kayleigh it was time to take down the ornaments, her response, "Poor Ornaments." (Said in the most unbelievably sad and mournful pouty voice you can imagine ... it's adorable.) Anyway, Benjamin's "nap" time came and that is when we do our chores together. Let me set the stage: Benjamin has been up and down all night teething, so he's cranky, and he doesn't want to nap. Kayleigh took an early nap yesterday and crashed early last night. This meant that both kids were up and ready to go by 6:15 a.m. I only got 10 minutes on the elliptical before screams tore me away. This means I didn't get a stress release ...  It's now 9:45 a.m., they've both been up for 3.5 straight hours. I have cleaned 3 dirty diapers for Ben, done 2 loads of laundry, one load of dishes, fed two kids and cleaned up one very messy accident by Kayleigh ... Benjamin is so past tired that he's just whining in the crib instead of intently trying to sleep. His moans and cries are the background for all the rest of our activity. I've got the "ducky" timer set ... so Kayleigh knows when to visit the bathroom. Kayleigh is running back and forth across the living room babbling (she's pretty much a constant stream of noise all the time) as Rafael chases her, taking moments to leap up and put both paws on her shoulders, since he can almost "tackle" her. I sigh and look at the tree.

My heart falls ... Christmas is over, the snow is PILING up outside, the "natives" are already restless ... the thought of two more months of this kind of cooped up commotion makes me want to cry ... and now, what do I have to look forward to? Spring Break, when we leave for Orlando with my brother, sister in law and nephew for a week of warmth. April seems so long away ...

I sigh and begin to pick apart the tree. As I begin, Kayleigh's running babble suddenly stops. She ceases her insane sprinting from room to room and approaches the tree.

K: Watcha doin' Momma? M: Taking down the Christmas decorations K: Why? It's PRetty M: Because Christmas is over. Jesus's birthday is past and we have to move on. K: Oh. Are you sad, Momma? M: A little sad, Kayleigh, I like Christmastime. K: (Is quiet. Clearly she's thinking.) Momma, I'll help you take down the orNAments M: Thanks K. K: (After a grand pause) ... Momma? M: (Sigh because I was so enjoying the silence, well, at least the lack of chatter, Ben is still whining). Yes? K: Thank you for Christmas. M: (Taken aback completely!) You're welcome. K: Thank you for Christmas, for presents, for orNAMents, for JESUS!!!. Thank you for birthdays and for Mommy and Daddy and Kayleigh and Benny. Thank you for CHRISTMAS!! I had FUN! M: (Completely humbled now) You're welcome, K! You're so welcome. K: (Duckie timer starts quacking) OHHHH Momma! I go potty now!! (and off she scampers...)

She left to take care of her responsibilities and as I helped her I thought about her long list ... and the one she repeated stuck out the most. Thank you, Lord, for Christmas! It's January 4 and although I have dreary winter ahead, I can still say Thank you, Lord, for Christmas. Thanks for the baby, the humble beginnings, the reason you came, the joy the season brings, and thank you, thank you for the young child who teaches me. (Yes, both of them ...)