The usual drill, as my brother, sister, and I got older, is that Dad gets up first. He’s only slightly more excited about Christmas than the youngest child in any house. He makes coffee, mimosas, a fire, and then badgers us to get moving. It was annoying as a teenager, endearing as a young parent (who could use the 6am cocktail), and now an adorable alliance between Pop Pop and his grandsons.
But lately, I’ve got the first crack at the coffee pot. At 4am I’m icing my armpit, waiting for the Advil to kick in, and feeling the puffy-eyed effects of a big boo hoo woe is me moment as we stuffed a shameful amount of presents around the tree last night. I found myself already wishing away the whole year. I selfishly want to fast forward to a re-organized, but cancer-free body and longer hair. I don’t want to NEED to drop to my knees and pray for strength. Last night’s cryptic answer was “let them help.” And I didn’t know if He meant my punch drunk, exhausted family doing 11th hour wrapping, or the Ativan and Vicodin on the bedside table. Maybe both.
As soon as the pain subsides and the sun comes up it will feel very The King is Born! and my tears will be shed for the zillions of velcro and suction nerf darts that will be stuck to everything through Lent and the occasional lego underfoot. Reading these messages is already pulling me toward a better, Joy to the World, mood. I love pictures of excited kids in new pajamas, and I will devour stories of your traditions, eccentric family members, unexpected gifts, and horrifying travel-with-babies moments. I love it all.
It’s 4:30. Probably not too early to wake up Dad.