I don't know which will be more difficult tonight - settling Joe-Henry down enough to get him to sleep, or sending me off to slumber land. My husband and I are both feeling quite elf-ish, and I've come to realize that the elf sleep cycle is quite different from my own. This past week, I've had a hard time sleeping. Either I can't go to sleep, or I can't stay asleep. It's mystified me. I'm not anxious, I'm not worried... why can't I sleep? I think I've figured it out.
I'm excited. I'm looking forward to Christmas in a new way this year. There have been so many changes this past year, and I don't think the reason I'm excited is because we will be spending it with most of my family (although I'm really really looking forward to that), rather than my husband's. I love his family dearly, and we will all miss them this year. Their Christmas' are a thing of wonder, and I have spent the last 15 years celebrating with them, and I will miss them and long for their laughter and love. So that's not it either. I think the reason I'm so excited is because Joe-Henry is six. It's a magical year. He is so happy and filled with sugarplums and wonder, it's hard not to eat him. He's also wound up like a little toy, with no signs of slowing down until about December 28th. That's when the crash will come for all of us, I expect.
There is also, I think, a real sense of this time passing. Of the need to appreciate all the gifts that are laying about my feet every day (along with toy trains and cars and stickers on my walls). I gaze at the lashes resting on his pink cheeks when he's asleep, the way his hand curls protectively around his stuffed animals, and can almost watch him grow. He's taller this year, his face is changing, the bone structure shifting to accomodate new molars, his brain resting up so that tomorrow he'll have energy to grasp even more complex theories. Like, maybe, the fact that Santa is really mom and dad.
Until then, my heart is open to now, to this wonder that is my life. But I'm still really, really excited.