Moments of Joy:
- Driving in the dark toward home, pointing out all the Christmas lights to Mads and Ella (I point the same lights out to Mads every night, but neither he nor I are tired of it yet), I make some stupid joke, barely even recognizing I've made a joke, but both toddlers must understand the cadence of a joke now, and they burst into fits of giggles. Ella tells me, "That's funny! That's so funny, Mimi!" and I feel like a rock star.
- Standing at the buying counter at work discussing the previous night's Christmas party and bout of Dirty Santa, Ali tells me that after Mads and I had left the gathering, her boyfriend traded Christina's husband his blanket for the ugly owl cross-stitch I'd contributed to the festivities, the ugly owl cross-stitch Christina's husband had glumly opened (announcing, "it's a hoot" with a certain, distinct, hilarious lack of enthusiasm). Meaning: I succeeded in my first game of Dirty Santa--I found a gift most might consider a gag but that at least one person in the group actually wanted. Huzzah!
- We are at the little theatre in downtown Cary, Mads and me, and Grandma and Ella; this is the first movie Mads has ever seen in a theatre (Frozen). As the lights go down, he gets startled and leans close to me. I put my arm around him and kiss his temple--my little movie date, shoving popcorn in his mouth by the fistful like a pro.
- When my husband gets up silently from the table at Waffle House, I assume it's just to use the men's room and so, for the briefest moment, I do not recognize him when I glance up toward the cash register and think, "Now, there's a handsome man."
- I walk with Mads and his cousin, Selby Kate, behind the fence of Theresa's house and into a thicket, a well worn path Selby knows by heart; she and her little sister Dani walk with Theresa along this path on Adventures, seeking out Tinkerbell. Selby leads the way to a rusty piece of lawn furniture shaded and trees and vines. She pushes fallen leaves off the seat and sits with her pink cowboy-booted feet propped up, wearing a shining red cape and mask, with a doll in her lap, and I think: what a cool girl. I only wish I'd had my camera.
- I pull on my one and only pair of plain ol' jeans, not fresh from the dryer, but freshly discovered abandoned in the dryer, and find a tiny hole forming at the left knee. I've been wearing these jeans semi-regularly for at least two years, and to see that well-earned hole (after how many hands-and-knees chases with my baby boy) is so damn satisfying.
|The Christmas fairies, at Theresa's house|