Stay cool at Christmas, kids...stay cool.
Sara and I have begun our yearly winter talks: the absurdly lengthy discussions in which we make Holiday travel plans, decide what we should ask for, and most importantly, what to get Natalie.
Our negotiations over what we should request are much longer than they should be because when it comes to Holiday desires, Sara is practical (boring) while I am impractical (childish). So we debate if we should ask for various Wii games or a set of dishes. If only you could be a fly on the wall, you'd get so bored you'd hurl yourself repeatedly against the windowpane until you passed out. Then you'd smile with sweet macabre insect relief when you were scooped up and thrown outside to the birds.
When our discussion turns to Natalie it is less a debate about what she wants and more about what she actually needs. She is the only grandchild and the only niece/nephew on either side of our families, so she doesn't lack for much. In fact, we may need to add a wing to the house in order to shelve her books (Damn you Dr. Seuss). Last year we asked for art supplies and dress-up clothes and after our families were through, one might believe our house belonged to a struggling artist who likes to dress up in princess outfits...
I may be a struggling artist but I prefer fairy costumes...
This year the inquiries about what to get Natalie have begun. I've been informed that Black Friday is less than two weeks away. Since Natalie is three now and totally anticipating Christmas, last night over dinner we asked what's on her wish-list.
"Well, um, I think I might want a rattle."
This surprised us, so we dug a little deeper...
"Well, what I think I want is two , so I can sing that song. You know the Jingle Bell song"
"Ah" We said, smiling and loving our sweet little elf even more.
She then explained, "Maybe I would also like a friend for 'Barbie Bunny', (for the inquisitive reader: Barbie Bunny is a large bunny given to Natalie by her great-grandmother that they stuffed together. She was completed with a tiny little pillow-heart) cause when I play with Barbie Bunny she doesn't have any friends who like to play with her, so maybe I would want a friend like her, but wearing a purple outfit" (Barbie Bunny wears pink)
At this point we had melted into our mashed potatoes.
She followed with, "And also it would be good to have a to go with the other dolls (she was referring to her set of which are currently missing the tiniest doll, which could be lodged under something or may have run the gamut of Fenway's intestines and currently be somewhere in our yard, or better yet the neighbor's yard, decomposing) cause we lost the baby doll...so for now...it would be good to have another baby doll to go with the nesting dolls...for now."
She really wanted to clarify that this baby would just be a temporary substitute for the lost infant and not a permanent member of the nesting doll community.
She then wowed us completely by adding, "And I think that's all I need right now, cause that would be a lot of presents."
At this point I experienced my first "lahury", which I have coined as an abbreviation for any time you simultaneously want to laugh, give someone a hug, and cry. She was so serious and so adorable.
I could try to make some larger point here about remembering what Christmas is truly about, about remembering to ask for only what we need, about counting our blessings no matter how tiny.
Instead I'm going to count my own tiny blessing and give my daughter a gigantic hug while she asks, "Daddy, why are you hugging me?"