It’s quiet now. Everyone has gone home. It’s late. Max is upstairs sleeping. Waiting on Santa. I’ve put all the gifts under the tree, filled the milk half full in Santa’s mug, chomped the end off the carrot, left the crumbs from the cookies, filled his stocking. We’re ready. I can’t wait to see him in the morning. There won’t be many more of these left. Maybe one. Maybe two. This blind faith. This innocence. It’s so fleeting. You have no idea how fleeting it is. I never did either until I became his mom. I think of him sleeping up there in my king size bed and I think of all the sleeps he’ll hopefully have from here on after and I wish every single one of them could be a Christmas Eve sleep when he was 8 years old and he knew Santa was coming. I wish all the world could have that kind of sleep forever. The pure exhaustion from a day of anticipation. He didn’t think he’d ever be able to fall asleep but he was passed out by 8:30 on the couch. I carried his limp body up the stairs and tucked him in under my covers and whispered “Santa is coming.”
I’m exhausted and my house smells like a Hallmark Christmas movie if you can imagine what that might smell like. It’s disgusting and comforting and home all at once. I don’t know what that means or how that makes sense but somehow it does. I’ve cooked all the food I can cook and tomorrow I will take it over to my dad’s house and we will all laugh and talk like the past never happened. And maybe it didn’t, you know? Maybe life is just a series of individual events and not some ongoing monologue you can’t escape. I like the idea of that. It’s not true, of course, but for this one day, let me believe it just as surely as that sweet boy upstairs asleep in my bed believes that Santa Claus is coming tonight.
Goodnight, wherever you are. I hope you’re already asleep and dreaming of some epic Christmas Eve when you were a kid.