Our boy was the first child to visit with Santa at Wednesday night's Cub Scout Pack holiday banquet, as he had rushed forward when the youngest den of the pack (Tigers) was called. (Bold, our boy.)
This was the calm before the storm, as moments later, he had Public Meltdown of the Year over a broken candy cane (Santa had given it to him.) I ended up literally having to carry our boy out of the sweet little neighborhood church that hosted the banquet with him kicking, screaming and crying. When he nearly flung both me and him down the stairs, his father took him and I took over the Fiesta platter on which we'd brought brownies.
My Mister ended up putting him in the car where he cried more, thrashed, kicked the doors and dashboard..... until a good while later, he calmed, and I was able to climb into the backseat to monitor him while his daddy drove us slowly home with a steady hand on the wheel.
Having had virtually no experience with this when he'd been working away from home seven days a week, this was a first for my Mister to experience this full on and IN THE WORLD of other people. I felt as though I'd been transported back to the first four years of my child's life and it could have been any day of the week: on a trip to the public library, at a park, in the grocery store or the KMart or the Target, or in the bank parking lot on Charlotte Avenue near the Nations section of town (you know -- the one with the gold dome....) It could have been during or after a presentation I was giving for Mothers Acting Up or during the time I was trying to write a grant or a web recipe for community action. It might have been over brushing teeth or putting shoes on, a trash can that was rolled on its side or any other item that was out of place and therefore disturbing.
To my dear child's credit, he has weathered rather a lot. In recent months he has seen his beloved Diggy grow incredibly ill. He has been away from his mother while she worked fulltime away from home, finished grad school, graded papers in the evenings and in the wee morning farmer's hours... He has lived through having had a father work away from home seven days a week during near the entirty of his life until just last year, when grad school took over, and then this semester become the more available parent at home. He has been toted to and from two different preschools, weathered his mother's lay offs and job searches and a flooded out home and a move.
He has begun elementary school, learned to read (very well,) participated in extracurriculars, and this year has enjoyed before and aftercare at our wonderful PTO run school care program. (Can I just say? we are soooooooooo fortunate with our boy's school and his teacher who is extraordinary! and the before and aftercare program which is stellar!!)
Our boy is also a bit high spirited, and strung tight. A lot like his mother, AND his father, too. (One of us is a stealth high maintenance person, one not so much.)
And so, I fault him hardly at all for the upset. For the getting overstimulated on holiday treats and decorations and Santa and all three of us out at an evening activity on a school-night (exceptionally rare!) and the remaining hour plus crying in mama's arms over all the things listed above. "I hope you DON'T go back to that school!! You never play with me. You only do homework and grade papers and you don't love me!"
This boy, he is our emotional barometer and our angel. He is profane AND sacred.
He is the manifestation of the purest love we have for each other, and the hope we hold for the world, and the faith we have in the Universe and in God and in each other.
But even more than any of that: our boy is just a six year old boy with boogers and a sassy mouth and a love of Harry Potter and rock music and his dog. He's a kid who likes to climb trees, run with packs of wildly laughing children, eat crisp apples, dig in the dirt, kick soccer balls, earn Cub Scout badges and beads and belt loops.
And it's all OK.
Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.
We're the Babcocks.
You may consider this our holiday card for 2011 as to be frank about it, making a holiday card and sending it out has been last on my list of priorities this month what with finishing my degree, winding down teaching this semester and trying to renegotiate my interim contract (still not sure if I return in January or if I need to find a new job.) It's the first year we've ever NOT had a tree, have forgone putting up the full on decorations, and certainly you will find no elf on the shelf here.
The bits of idle time at my hands have been wasted here and here, as the laughs have been needed a great deal. Laughter and prayer are close to the same for me. And as my friend Jay says, "Laughter is my religion." Er, for me, it's a spiritual expression, and keeps me going like nothing else. Laughing is being in communion with God and with humanity.
So ho ho ho!! And ha ha ha.
With lots of love from here to wherever this may find you,