But I digress...
I went back to work the first week of November. I have a 4 month old. I have a 6 year old who has been officially diagnosed with Autism. I am in the midst of divorce which basically makes me a social pariah amongst some friends. I have postpartum depression. Life is basically giving me a giant middle finger.
And that's okay. Life does that from time to time. However, it's easy to forget that while it's giving you the finger with it's left hand, it's ALSO giving you a big old "thumbs up" with the other if you're willing to look. Life's bipolar like that.
I have two beautiful, healthy children. I have a core group of friends who have been and will always been wonderful. Vince's diagnosis opens the door to therapies that weren't available to him before. Nate is finally starting to sleep better. My job, if hectic, is fulfilling and my coworkers are genuinely good people. God hasn't completely given up on me because, hey... still here. All thumbs up, right?
However, even acknowledging the good does not lessen the sting of the difficult. Thus, the thought of decorating for Christmas was about as appealing as dancing with rabid squirrels. I'm an adult, though, and I have two incredibly special little boys who deserve to have the beauty and magic of Christmas surrounding them. So I rolled up my sleeves, shoved my tiredness, my frustration, and my hurt aside and I put up the tree. I put up the Advent calendar. I put out my various Holy Family statues. I even put out the Nativity set that Vince has loved since his very first Christmas 7 years ago (and he immediately went to town playing with it, to my delight).
This is more than my first Christmas as a single mom. This is Nathan's first Christmas and it's Vince's first Christmas in what will become his new normal (Oh Heaven, forgive me for the vehement disgust I want to spew at those words). So decorate I did. I even let Vincent help decorate the tree - something he's never done before. He was so proud of himself. I was, too. Nate, for his part, happily watched us from his high chair, perfectly content to watch his favorite person, Vince, go crazy with the shiny decorations.
We had to get a skinnier tree than we normally do this year on account of the changes I made during the renovation. I was bummed that we wouldn't have a big fat tree, but the end result ended up being just as festive. And it fits. :)
And tonight, I'm going to the craft store to pick up a few extra things to decorate the house with. I'm actually looking forward to surprising Vince with them so we can come up with fun places to put everything. God bless him - he deserves the happiness. And though Nate won't remember a lick of this, at least he'll fall into the new, joyful traditions we create for ourselves in spite of the situation they innocently find themselves in.